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THE 




WHOLE^ WORKSy^^g) 



OF 

ay 



ROBERT LEIGHTON, D. D. 



AnCHBISHOP OF GLASGOW. 



TO WHICH IS PHEFIXED, 



A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR, 



BT 



JAMES AIKMAN, ESQ. 



A NEW EDITION, 
COAiPLETE IN ONE VOLUME. 



EDINBURGH : 
THOMAS NELSON AND PETER BROWN. 



MDCCCXXXII. 



CONTENTS 






Page 
Life of Akchbishop Leiohton, 
BY James Aikmak, Eso. i 

A PraC^TICAL COMMEXTAaYOK THE 

FiBST Bpistle of Peter. 

Chap. 1 1 

Chap. II 66 

Chap. Ill 145 

Chap. IV 230 

Chap. V 279 

ExposiToar Lectures om 

psax.m xxxix. 311 

Isaiah ▼! 324 

ROXANSXII 331 

Charges, &c. to the Clergy of the 

Diooeae of Dunblane 336 

Letters wzitten by Bishop Ldghton 
on difibent Occasions, 346 

EIOHTEEK sermons. 

SERMON I. 

James lii. 18. But the wisdom that 
is fiom above is fiist pure^ &c ...••361 

SERMON II. 

Job zzziT. 81, 82. Study it is meet 
to be said onto God, I have borae 
diastiseinent, I will^ not offend any 
more, &c. 356 

SERMON III. 

IsAXAH zxtIU. 5, 6. In that day shall 
the Lovd of hosts be for a crown of 
gbny^^te. 361 

SERMON IV. 

Isaiah Ix. 1. Arise, shine, for thy 
B^t is come^ and the glory of the 
liosd is risen npon ^ee> 861 

SERMON V. 
On the same Text, 370 

SERMON VL 

PSAI.X sliL 8. Yet the Lord wiU 
command his loving-kindness in the 
day.tim«^ &e. 876 

SERMON VIL 

PSALX czix. 13. Rivers of waters 
xmi down mine eyes, because they 
keep not thy law,..,.- 361 

SERMON VIIL 

Cavt. L 8. Because of the savour 
of thy good ointments, thy name is 
as ointment poured forth, therefore 
do the virgins love Ihee, .......387 



P.tge 
SERMON IX. 

Rom. viii. 7> Because the carnal 
mind is enmity against God, &c 393 

SERMON X. 

Rom. xiii. 5 — 8. Wherefore ye must 
needs be subject, not only for wrath, 
but also for conscience* sake,. ....... ...396 

SERMON XI. 

Psalm Ixxvi. 10. Surely the wrath of 
man shall praise thee : the remainder 
of wrath shalt thou restrain, ,.402 

SERMON XII. 

Psalm exit. 7* He shall not be afraid 
of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, 
trusting in the Lord,.. 407 

SERMON XIII. 

Matt. xiii. 3. And be spake many 
things unto them in parables, say- 
ing. Behold a sower went forth to 
sow, &c 412 

SERMON XIV. 

2 CoR. vii. 1. Having therefore these 
promises, dearly beloved, &c 415 

SERMON XV. 

Psalm cxix. 32. I will run the way 
of thy commandments, when thou 
shalt enlarge my heart, 418 

SERMON XVL 

Rom. viii. 33, 34. Who shall lay 
any thing to the charge of God's 
elect? &c..... 422 

SERMON XVIL 

Rom. viii. 36. Who shall separate us 
from the love of Chzist ? &c 425 

SERMON XVIII. 

Ibaiau lix. 1, 2. Behold, ihe Lord*s 
hand is not shortened that it cannot 
save, &c 426 

Exposition of the Creed, 433 

EiqHMition of the Lord's Prayer, 447 

Exposition of the Ten Commandments, 474 

Of Precept 1 477 

Precept II 480 

Precept III 482 

Precept IV 484 

Precept V 486 

Precept VI 488 

Precept VII 489 



IV 



• CONTENTS. 



Of Pmcept VIII 491 

Pracept IX.~ 494 

Precept X 496 

A Discoune on Matthew zxii. 37— ^..499 

A Diflcoune on Hebrews viii. 10 602 

A Short CBtechism, 606 

TIN SSlUfOirB, FBOX TBE AUTHOR'S 
MAXUBCRIPT8. 

SERMON I. 

Rom. ziiL 11 — 14. And that know- 
ing the thne, that now it is high 
time to awake out of sleep, &c 607 

SERMON II. 

Psalm evil. 43. Whoso is wise, and 
win observe these things, &c 611 

SERMON III. 

Psalm cziz. 96. I have seen an end 
of all perftetion ; but thy command- 
ment is exceeding broad,*.*. ...•••616 

SERMON IV. 

Hab. iii. 17, 18. Although the fig- 
tree shall not blossom, Stc 620 

SERMON v. 

1 Cor. L 30. But of him are ye in 
Chxiat Jesui, &&..••.••..... 624 

SERMON VI. 

Jkk. z. 23, 24. O Lord, I know that 
the way o£ man is not in himself, &C...630 

SERMON VII. 

IsA. zxx. 16 — 19. For thus saith the 
Ixvd Ood, the holy One of Israel, 
In letuming and rest shall ye be 
saved. &c. ....•• 634 

SERMON VIII. 

Jea. ziv. 7—9. O Lord, though our 
iniquities testify against us, do thou 
it itar thy name's sake, ftc* 639 

SERMON IX. 

Luke ziix. 1—10. There were pre- 
sent at that season some diat told 
him of the OalUeans, whose blood 
Pilate had mingled with their sacri- 
fices, &c t ....644 

SERMON X. 

Preached be/ore ih$ Partiameni^ 14M 
. No9. 1669. 

JoBir zxi. 22. What is that to thee ? 
Follow thou me, ••..... 647 

THEOLOGICAL LSCTUAES. 

I. The IntroducUmi, •••••••«•••••• •••••..,•663 

II. Of Hqipiness, its Name and Nature, 

and the Desire of it implanted in 
the Human Heart, • • 665 



Lect Y>ag« 

III. Of the Happiness of Man, and 
that.it is redUy to be found, ••.667 

IV. Id which it is proved that Human 
Fdidty cannot be found either in 

the Earth or Earthly Things, ......669 

V. Of the Immortality ofHhe Soul, ...... 662 

VI. Of the Happiness of the Lifetocome, 666 
VIL Of the Being of CN)d, 667 

VIII. Of the Worship of Ood, ProTi- 
denee, and the Law given to Man, 672 

IX. Of the Pleasures and Utility of 
Religion, 674 

X. Of the Decrees of God, •«.*.....676 

XL Of the Creation of the World, 577 

XII. Of thei Creation of Man, 681 

XIIL Of Divine Providence, 684 

XIV. Of Christ thb Saviour, 687 

XV. Of Regeneration, 589 

XVI. Of Regeneration, 693 

XVII. Of True Felicity and Eternal 
Punishment, 696 

XVIII. Of the Christian Religion, and 
that it is the true Way to Happi- 
ness, 699 

XIX. That Holiness is the only Way 

to Happiness on this Earth, 601 

XX. Of our Happiness, particularly 
that it is in Ood, who can direct 
us to the true Way of attaining it ; 
that this Way he has discovered 
in the Sacred Scriptures, the di- 
vine Authority whereof is asserted 
and illustrated, •«603 

XXL Of the Divine Attributes, 608 

XXII. How to regu&te Life according 

to the Rules of Religion^ 609 

XXIII. Of Purity of Life, 611 

XXIV. Before the Gommuniion,<i....*...6.13 
An Exhortation to the Studoita upon 

their return to the University siW 

the Vacation, 616 

Exhortations to the Candidates for the 
Degree of Master of Arts in the 
University of Edinburgh^ 619 

EZBOETATXON L ••*• 621 

II 623 

III 624 

IV. 620 

V 628 

Vr. 629 

VII 631 

VIII 683 

Vi^edictory Oration, 685 

A Defence of Modenue Episcopacy, 337 

Meditatioks, Chitical axd Pbacti- 
CAL, OH Psalms iv. xxxji. and cxxx. 

Ok Psalm iv 643 

— Psalm xxxii 652 

— Psalm oixx 668 

A Senason to the Clergy, from 2 Cor; v. 
20, not before pubUshed in any for- 
mer Collection,... 673 

Several Letters on various Subjects, 681-687 



LIFE 



OP 



ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON, 



Tn an age when the study of TKeology was the universal and lead- 
ing pursuit, and amounted 'tdmost to a passion, Robebv Leiohtoi^ 
was a pre-eminent Theologian ; not so much from his aequiremcSits in 
that species of Literature, in wliich, however, he was deeply skilled, as 
from the delightful examples he exhibited in his life and writings, of a 
religion he cordially believed, and as far as his apprehensions extend- 
ed, fidihfully copied. He was not free in his conduct from the errors o£ 
humanity, but he was one of the very few, who err on the lovelier side; 
his amiability of temper, and jpurity of principle, led him to carry, 
among men of sterner stuff, the proposals of Charity which he professed, 
fiirther than either accorded with the situation he held, the rights that 
were in peril, or the temper of the times. It therefore happened to 
him, as must happen to all placed in similar circumstances, that hia 
Character was viewed by his contemporaries in extremes ; and as pos- 
terity do not easily get rid of the feelings of their ancestors, it ||^ 
even in our own days been looked at in very different lights. 

Men have no right to visit the sins of the fa.ther8 upon the children, 
yet it is no indefensible propensity to esteem the seed of tboixighteous, 
to feel grief for them when they leave the paths of their progenitors, 
and if tiiey have descended from persecuted parents, and join their per- 
secutors, to address them as the prophet did Jehoshaphat, ^* Shouldst 
thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord ? therefore 
there is wrath upon thee from before the Lord : nevertheless there 
are good things found about thee.^^ 

That such sentiments should have been entertained, respecting the 
subject of this memoir, by many excdlen^ men in Scotland, will not 
appear strange when th6 cruel infliction his father Dr Alexander Leigh- 
ton underwent is considered ; and however his own mind might have 
fUt justified in the change, it was not to be expected that Presbyterians, 
who were themselves suffering for the same cause, which they were 
fully persuaded was for righteousness^ sake, could be easily convinced 
of the strength of those reasons, which influenced the son of such a 
&ther, to leave theii ranks, and join their opponents. 

Dr Alexander Leighton was descended, it is said, o£ an ancient 
fiunily in For&rshire, whose chief seat was Ulys-havcn, or.Usen, but 



U 1IF£ Of 

the £act is as obscure as it is unimportant ; it is certain that he was one 
of the numerous host of confessors who bore testimony against the 
enormous abuse of Prelatic power in his day, and suffered severely for it. 

As was not uncommon in these times of persecution, although a mi- 
nister of the Gospel, he had also studied medicine, and afterwards 
practised it in London during the reign of James I. and early in that 
of Charles I. where he also exercised his ministry, but whether to any 
stated congregation does not appear. Warmly attached to Presby- 
terian principles, he took part in the violent and dangerous contro- 
versies then agitating England, and published a work entitled, ^^ An 
Appeal to the Parliament, or Zion's Plea against the Prelacie : The 
sunune whereof is delivered in a Decade of Positions. In the hand- 
ling whereof the Lord Bishops and their appurtenances are manifestly 
proved, both by divine and humane lawes, to be intruders upon the 
previledges of Christ, of the King, and of the Commonweal : and 
dierefore upon good evidence g^ven, she hartelie desireth a judgment; 
and execution — sprinted in the year and moneth wherein Rochelle was 
lost, 1628.^^ The style of the book is in perfect accordance with what 
unhappily is the general style of pcdemics, and such as we have seen exem- 
plified, even in our own day, when men allow their passions to inter- 
mingle with their controversies : yet it was not more virulent, if it 
was as much so, as many of those which appeared on the opposite side. 

For this work he was brought to trial, and the arguments of the 
book, which plainly proved that an overgrown, ambitious, and tyranni- 
cal prelacy, was not the ministry appomted by Christ in his church, 
were it seems aggravated by the imprint, as marking his dissatisfaction 
to govermnent, — ^it being the general belief, that if England had in- 
terfered in behalf of the French Protestants, Rochelle would have been 
saved fiiom the hands of the Papists ; and by the book being also de- 
corated, according to the fashion of the day, with two hieroglyphical 
cuts explanatory of the subject, the first a burning lamp, supported 
by a book and two armed men guarding it ; the legend, not remark- 
ably elegant, explained the meaning: 

* 

Prevailing pxdati itriTe to quench our light, ^ 

Except youi sacred power quash their might. 

The other represented an elder bush growing out of a ruinous tower, 
from whose branches a parcel of bishops were tumbling, one of them 
with a strong box in his hand, — ^the legend, 

The tottering prelates with their trumpery all^ 
ShaU moulder down like elder ftcsn a walL 

These, which were grating subjects in the days of Charles to the 
members of the English Hierarchy, and not over pleasant in the days 
of George IV. * will scarcely be deemed any palliation of the conduct 
of the Star Chamber, in their treatment of the author, even although 
it was under the influence of the Bishops. 

* Vide Peanon*s Life of Archbishop Ldghton. prefixed to the iMt London edition. 
Of Ui Works, 1828. 



ARCHBISHOP LKIGUTON. Ui 

He was arrested early in 16299 hurried to a wretched cell in New- 
gate, low, damp, and witliout light, except what was admitted, along 
with die rain, fromim aperture in the roof, overrun with rats and other 
vermin. Here he lay from Tuesday night till Thursday at noon, with- 
out food, and for fourteen days endured solitary confinement in this 
miserable hole; while his house, in liis absence, was rifled, his books 
destroyed, and his papers carried off. After sixteen weeks' captivity, he 
was served witii an information of die crimes with which he was charg- 
ed, but he was sick and unable to attend, and from the nature of liis 
disorder, a fitter object of compassion than punishment, for the skiu 
and hair had almost wholly come off his body. 

Yet though thus afflicted, this aged, infirm divine, was condemned to 
a punishment the stoutest ruffian could hardly have endured, Avhicli 
some ci the lords of court conceived could never be inflicted on a dying 
man, and was only held out as a terror to otliers : it %vas — to be de- 
graded as a minister, to have his ears cut ofT, his nose slit, to be brand- 
ed in the &ce, to stand in the pillory, to be whipped at a post, to pay 
a fine of L.IOOO, and to suffer imprisonment till it was paid ; the which 
when Archbishop Laud heard pronounced, he pulled off* liis hat, and 
holding up his hands, gave thanks to God, who had given die church 
victory over her enemies ! 

And it was mercilessly inflicted. On the 29th of November, in a 
eold frosty day, he was stripped, and received thirty-six lashes with a 
triUe cord, after which he stood during a snow-storm two hours half- 
naked on the pillory at Westminster, was branded on one cheek widi 
a red-hot iron, had one ear cut ofl^, and one side of his nose slit : On 
that day se^ennight, ere his sores were healed, he was taken to the 
pillory in Cheapside, and underwent the remainder of his sentence. 
He was then earned back to prison, and shut in for upwards of ten 
years until the meeting of the Long Parliament : when released from 
his miserable confinement, he could hardly walk, see, or hear. The 
Parliament reversed aU the proceedings against him, and voted him 
six thousand pounds for hb great sufferings and damages, and in 
164!2 gave him an appointment. He died about 1649* 

Dr Leighton had two sons, the eldest Robert, the second Elisha ; 
and two daughtov, the eldest Sapphira, the other Mrs Rathband, of 
whom nothing more is known. Robbbt was bom in the year 1611, 
in London, according to the account of the late Rev. 6. Jerm^t, his 
first regular biographer, to whose labours succeeding writers of his life 
have been under great, diough rather unacknowledged obligations ; 
and Dr Burnet tdls us, ^* he was sent to his father to be bred in Scot* 
land.^ The year when he was sent thither, or how his education was 
conducted till he became a student in die univernty of Edinburgh in 
16279 forms a blank in his life, which cannot now be filled up. He at- 
tended thedifferent classes till 1681, when he took the degree <rfMaster of 
Arts; and it deserves to be notioed, that the professors during that pe^ 
liod were chiefly men who were attached to the mongrel, semi-episco* 
pal, semi-presbyterian latitudinarianism, which was the court religion 
of the time in Scotland. He had early imbibed a decided aversion for 



U LIFE OF 

the whole frame of the Church of England — ^and no wonder ! but the 
mixed system of Episcopacy then taught in the Soottish school, which 
allowed of a Synod of Presbyters with a permanent presiding Bishop, 
similar to what Mosheim thinks was early introduced into tibe Chri»^ 
tian church, appears to have been the pivot on whidi his young mind 
rested the balance between the opposing systems, for it does not 
appear he had then decided. The circumstances of his family not p«% 
mitting him to apply to tlie ecclesiastical courts for license, he went 
abroad. 

Biunet, to whose brief notices we are chiefly indebted for any ac- 
count of young Leighton, says, *^ From Scotland his father sent him to 
travel.^ How his fether, who was previously immured in his miser- 
able habitation, found the means to do so, we are left to conjecture* 
He travelled several years in France, and resided some time at Douay, 
where he had relatives ; .he is here reported or supposed to have fiillen 
in with some religionists, <^ whose lives were framed on the strictest 
model of primitive piety ;^ but as in his writings he has repeatedly de- 
clared his opinion to be, that the Church of Rome is utterly antichri&- 
tian, it is not at all probable, that the practice of the monks there 
had much, if any, influence in abating his veneration for the *^ presby- 
terian platform;^ at least, he embraced the first opportunity of return.-^ 
ing to Scotland, and accepting a presbyterian charge. 

During his absence on the continent, a series of events had taken 
place in Scotland, that had entirely overturned the Pseudo-prelacy, 
which he had left in power, and covenanted Presbyterianism, in the 
strictest sense that it ever was professed, was established instead, by 
the laws of the land, and in the affections of the people. Leighton 
jfBS a man of peace, and when the struggle was at its height, he did 
not choose to mingle in the fray, but when the religious community 
were rcgoicing in tixe acquisition of their freedom, and their fevourite 
form of church-government, he came home to swell the triumph, 
and enjoy the gale. Accordingly on his return to Scotland, having been 
unanimously called by the congregation of Newbottle, a parish in the 
presbytery of DalkeiUi, after passing through the usual course of trial 
for the ministry to the great satisfaction of his judges, he was ordained 
there on the 16th of December 1641, being then in the thirtieth year 
of his age. The parish is delightfdlly situated on the banks of the 
Esk, among whose romantic scenery Leighton could enjoy the re- 
tirement he so much loved, and the residence of the Earl of Lothian 
in the Abbey within his bounds, a nobleman attached to the cause of 
religion, in whose feunily he might cultivate the advantages of elevat- 
ed society, would add considerably to its charms. To the majoner 
in which he filled the duties of a parochial minister, perhaps the ob« 
scurity in which this is involved may be considered the highest tes- 
timony. A person who afterwards arrived at such distinguidied^emi- 
nence in such turbulent times, must have acted with more than or- 
dinary diligence and circumspection, to have escaped blame, from 
Rich critical scrutinizers as he was exposed to. These duties were 
what men of modem times would shrink from, for they were the 



ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON. T 

entire business of a min&ter's life, what the word of God ^hd Ihe 
rules of his church enjoined, what his people expected, and what 
bis co-presbyters practised themselves, and enforced on their brethren. 
Besides the services of the Sabbath, there were usually one or more 
lectures or sermons preached during the week ; the parishioners were 
regularly visited from house to house, the whole as punctually examin- 
ed, particularly Ae young, the instructioi;! of whom it was an important 
part of die ministerial fijuicticm to superintend ; both by inspecting the 
schools, and inquiring into their progress in rdigious and useful learn- 
ing, and by their visitations at their h(Wies to watch over their moral 
.tradning . a species of education, the last especially, the fruits of which 
were abundantly manifest in the next generation, which was destined 
to bear the fiery trial of a twenty-eight years furnace. Leighton, whose 
delist was in his work, it may be easily imagined, would not abridge 
any of these necessary duties ; and all his biographers concur in stat- 
ing, that he was most assiduous in discharging the various branches of 
his sacred office. ^^ He diligently visited the poor of the flock, 
was ever to be found in the chamb^ of the afflicted, and at the beds 
of the sick or the dying. He promoted personal, domestic, social, and 
public religion, to the utmost of his power, by precept, example^ and 
prayer.**^ — One solitary anecdote remains of this interval. 

It was, it seems, the practice of the Presbytery, to inquire of their 
members twice a-year, whether they preached to the times ? that is, 
whether they improved the serious and alarming circumstances by which 
they were surrounded, and at a period when the pulpit was almost 
the only medium through which the people could be informed of the 
itate of public afiairs,^-directed in the duty which they were required 
to pursue, — ^whether the ministers acted as feithfiil watchmen P Leigh* 
ton acknowledged the omission, but adroitly apologized for it, by say- 
ing, << If all the brethren have preached to the times, may not one 
poor brother be allowed to preach for eternity ?^ a question which, had 
his eo-presbyters been the zealots of a party, would have been re- 
cdved by any thing but approbation.. And it is exceedingly doubtful, 
in times of dread import, like those in which he lived, or such for in- 
stance as the present, [1831,] when the wheels of Providence seem 
moving onward with accelerated motion, laden with events to 
which the mysterious voice of Prophecy calls our attention,— *it seems 
more than doubtful whether the ministers of God are not liable to the 
rebuke, *^ Ye can discern the feceof the heavens, but can ye not dis- 
cern the signs of the times P^ when they keep silence, and do not 
^^ preadi to the times.**^ 

Two very diSerent testimonies respecting the nature of Leighton^s 
pulpit oratory have come down to us. *^ His preaching,'^ says Burnet, 
*^ had a sublimity both of thought and expression in it. The grace 
and giwity of his pronunciation was such, that few heard him with- 
out a sensible emotion. I am sure I never did. His style was rather 
too fine, bat there was a msgesty and beauty in it, that left so deep an 
impression, that I cannot yet forget the sermon I heard him preach 
thirty years ago. And yet with this he seemed to look on himself as 
fo ordimry a preacher that while he had a cure, he was ready to em- 



^1 LIFE OF 

ploy all otherei ; and when he was a Bi8h<q>, he chose to preach to small 
auditories, and would never give notice beforehand ; he had indeed 
a vej-y low voice, and so could not be heard hy a great crowd.^ 
Baillie, in speaking of Andrew Gray, one of the most extraordinary 
young ministers that has appeared in the Church of Scotland, whose 
memory is yet fresh in the west, and whose sermons, published under 
every possible disadvantage, evince that it deserves to be so, thus 
obliquely gives the opinion he and his moderate brethren held of Leigk- 
ton'a ministerial instructions : *^ He has the new guise of preaching, 
which Mr Hugh Binning and Mr Robert Leighton began, containing 
the ordinary way of expounding and dividing a text, of raising doc- 
trines and uses ; but runs out a discourse on some common head, in a 
high romancing and inscriptural style, ticklings the ear for the present, 
and moving the affections in some^ but leaving little or nought to the 
memory and understanding.*" 

That Gray and Binning were amazingly popular, is well attested ; 
that Leighton deserved to be equally or more so, will appear evident 
from a comparison of the remains they have left behind them ; for 
all have left written specimens of their sermons, and respecting the 
merit of our autlior^s we shall afterwards speak. But those only 
who heard the living preadiers could tell us of their eloquaice : 
They who know — and what clown does not know? — ^tbe power 
of the keen language of the eye, the emphasis of countenance, the 
varied tone and energy of voice, even the influence of grave ap- 
propriate action, can note the difference between the living and 
the dead. In the Church of Scotland when in h^ glory, reading 
was unknown, and would not have been tolerated : tiie ministers 
were too much alive to the importance of their subjects to waste much 
time ui)on the ^^ conning of nice phrases,^ and depended more upon 
the vigour than the polish of their language ; yet were they not in^ 
elegant or careless, as the posthumous works of all these eminent 
three bear ample evidence :«— but their usual method appears to have 
been, first they studied their subject fully, then wrote a few notes, in 
modern terms made a skeleton of their discourse, and left the filling 
up to the fulness of their heart at the time of the ddivery. This ap- 
pears to have been ttie case especially with Andrew Gray, but in some 
instances the sermons appear to have been fully written out, although 
not slavislily delivered, as in the case of Hugh Binning. And it is a 
curious fact, that the whole of Durham^s elaborate Commentary on the 
Revelations, forming a folio volume, containing many calculations, 
and several profound disquisitions, was delivered without having been 
committed to paper, but taken down as he delivered it, was copied 
out afterv^'ards, and brought to himself for correction, except a very 
few of the last sheets. Indeed, it appears strange, that the reading of 
sermons should ever have found practitioners or advocates, except 
among the indolent or imbecile ; and I apprehend with scarcely an 
exception it will be found, that either want of capacity or want of dili- 
gence is at the root of the practice, and m either case, such a person 
ought not to be a public speaker, i Where God has withheld the 
talents for public speaking from a man, it needs no revekition to tell 



^/^j0/^/%^%^ c/^ 




ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON. vii 

118 lliat that man wad never intended for a public speaker. If frod have 
bestofwed the talents, and he refuse to cultivate them, it is as clear that . 
that man is unworthy of exercising the office of a Grospel minister. \ 
If, after a man has been duly called to his office, and if, after having 
exercised it fidthfuUy, it has pleased the inscrutable wisdom of Heaven 
to deprive him of any of his faculties, it becomes then a question 
whether he ought to retire. And if this be impossible or improper, 
say that merely memory has fitiled, and there be no funds for his sup* 
porty and his pe(q>le be unwilling to dispense with his services ; the 
case is altered-^et him read. But I believe it will in general be 
found in the eases of conversion, that often comparatively weak dis^ 
courses have been blessed, while the most elaborately composed dis^ 
courses, and tiie most beautafiiUy read, have been merely listened io 
as elegant essays, or praised as the lovely works of art. And it is na- 
tural that it should be so ; God is the God of means, as well as of grace, 
and he has appointed the living voice, the << foolishness of preaching^"" 
whereby to save them that believe ; and nrs approbation, not the ap* 
phrase of elegant or crowded auditories, ought to be the grand end and 
aim of a minister. Ldghton was an enemy to reading. '< I know,^ he 
said, ** that weakness of memory is pleaded in excuse for this custom, but 
better minds would makd better memories. Such an excuse is unworthy 
of a man, and much more of a father, who may want vent indeed in 
addressing his children, but ought never to want matter :*^Like £lihu> 
he riiould be refreshed by qpeaking.^ 

If the remark hold true of private, as of public ailairs, that the years 
which affi>rd fewest materials for die historian, are generally those 
that have been the happiest, the years which Leighton q>ent at New- 
bottle most have be^ among the most pleasant of his life | but to- 
wards their dose, the political state of the country invaded even his 
peaceful retirement. At is well known that the troubles of Scotland^ 
from the Reformation till the final expulsion of the Stuarts, aros^ 
frmn contests for religious and civil liberty on the part of the peoi^e^ 
and for priestly power an J absolute deq^tism on tiie part of the 
, Crown. By treachery and deceit, the British ^lomon, styled King« 
craft, James the I. had during a long reign attempted, and nearly 
accomplished, the overthrow of the constitution of lus native land,-« 
the task of completing the destruction of hia people's liberty, he left 
as a legacy to his son ; ihis Charles rashly endeavoured to accomplish, 
while his hands were fbUy occupied witb his English subjects, and, 
by introducing the liturgy among a people who detested it, he put 
the match to a train that lay ready for explosion,— 4he consequence 
was, that after an idle parade of royal weakness, when opposed to the 
universal wish of a people^ he was forced to give a free and fiiir con- 
stitation, securing the rights of his subjects from princely or prelatic 
invasion. Of this constitution the Covenant was at once the cauie, the 
oonsecjuence, and the guarantee; in it the Kmg and People swore to the 
performance of their various duties, and among otheiv, to preserve the 
religion as then established, and to resist aU innovations tending to 
re-introduce the prelacy. 

A^ultiplicaticoi of oaths to men in public life, besides being one of 



vitt L1F£ OF 

the slenderest of all ties to unprincipled men, is one of the worst' in 
Christian nations, as it uniformly involves them in varied and multi* 
plied iniquity ; it distresses, binds, and debilitates the minds of the 
conscientious, while it is frail as Sampson^'s green withs to the sturdy 
politician. But if ever there was a time, when a solemn declaration 
of principles^ and an explicit promise or vow to observe them, were 
called for, it was just about the period when Leighton entered upon 
the pastoral office at Newbottle ; and I think it plain from his own 
writings, that he conscientiously viewed the Covenant in this light, and 
subscribed it at his ordination without scruple. Had Charles I. been 
sincere when he ratified th^ acts of the Scottish Parliament, he might 
have reigned a powerful monarch, and died a better man ; but his du- 
plicity 1^ to' the great civil war, and forced Scotland and England to 
join together for mutual preservation from threatened tyranny. They 
did so, in an agreement known by the name of the Solemn League 
and Covenant, in which they pigged themselves to en4eavour uni- 
formity in religion accerding to the word of Grbd, and the extirpation 
of Prelacy ; and. this, in the form of an oath, was forced upon almost 
every inhabitant of Scotland* |fiut it deserves especial notice, that the 
zealots who were most forward in pressing this oath, were the political 
presbyterians, men whose exuberance of fire, like that of all violent 
partizans, was exactly in proportion to th^ lack cf principle ; and 
they ^ho were then the chief instruments of covenanting oppression, 
were the very persons who turned apostates, and were the chief instri^ 
ments of Prelatical persecution. 

Leighton, whose aversion to the lordly pomp of the English Hie- 
rarchy was undoubtedly as sincere as it was well founded, unhesitating- 
ly subscribed this bond himself, and afterwards administered it to the 
students in Edinburgh University. And he thus explains the reason of 
his facility^ ^^ for it would be noted, that when the Covenant was 
framed, there was no Episcopacy at all in being in Scotland, but in 
England only, so that the extirpation of that frame only could then 
be merely intended.**^ It may be difficult, however, to exculpate him 
from the error of having first vowed and then made inquiry ; ner, 
when he attempts it himself, is he very successful, — ^but great allow- 
aiice must be made for the gentleness of his natural disposition, and his 
most amiable desire for peace, especially when his whole life evinced 
that he was neither actuated by motives of covetousne8e(|i>r ambition ; 
and whether we agree with him or not, we must agree, that as his 
life was holy, there can be little doubt but his motives were pure. 
Let us however hear himself, though in this case he appears to have 
bet something of his sweetness of temper. 

^^ The truth is, th^ besides many other evils, the iniquity and un- 
£lppines8 of such oaths and covenants lie much in this, that, bmg 
oommonly framed by persons, that even amongst themselves are not 
fully of one mind, but have their different opinions and interests to 
serve,— and it was so even in this,-— they commonly patched Up so 
many several articles and clauses, and these too of 90 versatile and 
ambiguous terms, that they prove most wpetched snares, and thickets 
of briars and thorns to the consciences of those who are engaged in 



ARCHBISHOP ZiEIGHTON. Ix. 

ijbeakf jbd matter of endless contentions and disputes amongst them,' 
about the true sense and intendm^it, and the ties and obligations of 
those doubtful clauses, especially in such alterations and reyolutiona 
of afiairs, as always may, and often do, even within few years, follow 
after them, for the models and productions of such devices are not 
usually long-lived. And whatsoever may be said for their excuse, ]^ 
whole or in part, who, in yielding to the power that pressed it, and 
the general opinion of this Church at that time, did take that cove- 
nant in the most moderate and least schisoaiatical sense that the terms 
can admit; yet I know not what canbessud to clear them of a very 
great ran, that not only framed such an engine, but violently imposed 
it upon all ranks of men, not ministers and public persons only, but 
the whole body and community of the people, thereby engaging such 
droves of poor ignorant persons, to tiiey knew not what ; and, to 
speak freely, to such a^hodge-podge of things of various concernments, 
religious and civil, as church discipline and government, the privileges 
of Parliaments, and liberties of subjects, and condign punishment of 
malignants, things hard enough for the wisest and learnedest to draw 
the just lines of, and to give plain definitions and decisions of them^ 
and therefore certainly as far off from the reach of poor country peo« 
pie's understanding, as from the true interest of their souls, and yet 
to tie them by a religious oath, either to know all, or to contend for 
them blindfold, without knowing of them/' 

These sentiments are contained in his ^^ modest defence of moderate 
Episcopacy^^ written after he was a bishop, and considering the cause 
he had to defend, might pass without much observation, although, if 
carried their proper length, they would exclude the people from any 
voice in the choice or conduct of their rulers, civil and ecclesiastical, and 
lead to the quietude of a settled despotism in the Church and State. 
But it is a painfinl example of how far partiality for a side, or the sup- 
posed necessity of advocating a bad cause, may carry a good man, 
when we hear him in the next sentence asking, ^^ Where will be. in- 
stanced a greater oppression and tyranny over consciences than this f^"" 
and replyiog, ^* Certainly they that now govern in this Church, can- 
not be charged with anything near or lUce unto it, for whatsoever 
they require of intrants to the ministry, they require nether subscrip- 
tions nor oaths of ministers already entered, and far less of the whole 
body of the ^people."' Yet at this very time, had the whole ministry 
been required to acknowledge the royal supremacy in matters ecclesi- 
astical, and own a power in the church, which they understood to be 
subver^ve of that of her Head and King : still there is no divine more 
clear upon the character of Christ, as the sole lawgiver and ruler of 
his people, than our author. 

While Leighton's mind was hurt by the manner in which the So- 
lemn League and Covenant was pressed, he naturally associated with 
those whose sentiments on this subject accorded with his own. Among 
them was the father of Dr Gilbert Burnet, of the Episcopalian per- 
suasion, and particularly attached to the Hamilton family, with whose 
fortunes Leighton had almost associated his own. — ^After the providence 
of God had declared against Charles, and he was a captive in the 



X LIFE OF 

hands of his opponents, still he might have returned to his throna 
with honour, could he have suhmitted to be Ixmest, bnt he wished to- 
f e-ascend it uncontrouled, and played a double game, that led him to 
the scaffold. Unfortunately the Duke of Hannilton was induced t<^ 
second his efforts, by breaking the Solemn League and Covenant 
with England, and entering unto an Engagement with the captive 
monarch. This engagement, — which, if successful, would have laid 
the kingdoms prostrate at the feet of an incensed sovereign, who would 
give them no security for all they had been fighting for, except *< the 
word of a Prince,*^ and that had been forfeited at least a score of 
times,— ^divided Scotland ; part resolving to maintain the Covenant, 
and part entering into the engagement. Among those who fevoured 
the last, were all who had any leaning towards episcopacy, and 
Leighton, who had hitherto kept aloof from the politics of the day, 
was most unfortunately induced by his new associates, to declare in 
favour of an Engagement, the terms of which were not fully known 
at the time, and which we would in charity hope were misrepresented 
to him, as they were to others : like every effort in favour of the un- 
happy Charles, the project failed, and involved himself and his adhe- 
rents in deeper ruin. 

The high character of Leighton, and the friendship of the Earl of 
Lothian, saved him from any very serious consequences of his con-* 
duct, while the dominant party showed their liberality, by sparing so 
conspicuous an exponent from any other punishment than appointing 
him to rebuke those of his parishioners who had accompanied the Duke 
in his disastrous expedition. There is more of policy than of godly 
simplicity in the manner in which he extricated himself fivm a dilemma 
that could not fail of being extremely irksome to an ingenuous mind ; 
and when parties run so high, and the times were so perilous, it says 
a great deal for the forbearance of the Presbytery, that such an era* 
sion of their injunctions was overlooked. When the parties ordered 
to make public profession of their repentance came before him, he 
told them they had been in an expedition in which he believed they 
had neglected their duty to Grod ; and had been guilty of injustice 
and violence, of drunkenness and other immoralities, and he charged 
them to repent of these very seriously, without meddling with the 
quarrel w the ground of that war. This lesson seems to'have cured 
Leighton of meddling with politics, as we hear no more upon this head 
till after the restoration ; but from the slight notices in BaUlie^s Letters, 
it would appear that he associated with the high-flyers in the Church, 
who were evangelical in their preachhig, and suspected of flavouring 
the sectaries, apredilection which naturally arose from theinferiorweight 
he gave to differences upon matters of church-government when put in 
competition with personal piety ; and perhaps his laxness on that point, 
might be not a little increased by observing the pertinacity with which 
many contended for the form, who cared very little about the power of 
godliness, who were more anxious about the cut of their vestments than 
the conduct of their lives. The numerous sects, and varieties of <q>inion, 
which sprung up at this time, grievously unhinged menu's minds on these 
subjects, and the bitterness with which the sections of the same party 



ARCHBISHOP I>CIOHTON. xl 

often treated each other, made the quiet of the land wish for the wings 
of the dove, that they might fly thence and be at rest 

From whatsoever cause, in the year 1652, after the arriral of the 
second Charles among the Scots had raised their dissensions to a height, 
and brought their affitirs to a crisis, and when his defeat had strength- 
ened the distractions in the churdi, and spread a wider desolation in 
the country, Leighton tendered his resignation to the Presbytery ; 
this th^ declined accepting, and he was persuaded to remain ; but 
when there appeared little prospect of setttonent among the divided 
Presbyterians, and increasing bitterness of spirit between those who 
wished and prayed for the restc»ration of their King, and those who 
deprecated such an event from the specimen they had already receiv* 
ed of his conduct and disposition, he again renewed his request, and 
on the 3d February 1653, was released from his ministerial connec- 
tion with Newbottle, after having laboured eleven years diligently 
among them. ^ 

(Nothing tries a man^s principles better than touching his purse, }and 
ere we to judge from the conduct of many who bear the name of CJhris- 
tian, we should be apt to imagine that the injunction, ^^ Love not the 
world, nor the things of the world,^ ought to be inverted ; but wisdom is 
justified of hex children, and sometimes there do appear men, whose 
actions corresponding to their profession, evince, that setting the af- 
fecti<»i8 on things that are above, and not on things below, is, though 
a rare, yet a real attainment. Leighton was one ; and a circumstance 
occurred about this time, which places his estimate of the tmcertain 
riches of time, in a striking point of view, and which, although it 
poesesses an appearance of carelesnokess, and might possibly mark 
him out as a fit prey for pecuniary plunderers, was not by himself 
looked back upon during his life with mudi pain ; and that he got so 
£ir above the world before he got out of it, will not be now to hL^ 
holy spirit any cause of regret. 

l]ie father, who had acquired aome property after his snfiierings, 
having died, left him about one thousand pounds : this, which was all 
his patrimony, his broth^-in-law Mr Lightmaker, had advised him 
to come to London, and get placed in proper security. He answered : 
** Sir, — I thank you for your letter. That you gave me notice of, I 
desire to consider as becomes a Christian, and to prepare to wait for 
my own removal. What business follows upon my fether'^s [death,] 
may be well enough done without me, as I have writ more at large 

to Mr £ , and desired him to show you the letter when you meet 

Any pittance belonging to me may possibly be useful and needful for 
my subsistence, but truly if something ebe draw me not, I shall never 
bestow so long a journey on that I account so mean a business. Re- 
member my love to my sister, your wife, and to my brother and si&ter 
Rathband, as you have opportunity. I am glad to hear of the wel- 
fare of you all, and above all things wish for myself and you all, our 
daily increase in likeness to Jesus Chriiit, and Rowing heavenwards 
where he is, who is inir treasure. To his grace I recommend you* 
Sir, your affectionate brother, R. Leighton.'^ Dated December 31st 
1649. Before a month had elapsed^ he had occasion to acknowledge 



xtt liIF£ OF 

tbe propriety of his brotlier^s advice^ for the merchant in ^hose hands 
the money was placed became bankrupt, and he lost aU. In another 
letter to th^ same gentleman, which is subjoined, his Christian temper 
is remarkably evident : he owns his error, and is sensible of his loss, 
but as his heart was not with the treasure that had perished, he was 
not affected beyond what a Christian ought. *< Sir, — Your kind advice 
I cannot but thank you for, but I am not easily taught that lesson. 
I confess it is the wiser way to trust nobody : but there is so much 
of the fool in my nature, as carries me to the other extreme, to trust 
everybody. Yet I will endeavour to take the best courses I can in 
that little business you write of. It is true there is a lawAil, yea, a 
needful diligence in such things ; but alas ! how poor are they to the 
portion of believing where our treasure is ! That little that was in 
Mr E ' 's hakds hath failed me ; but I shall either have no need of 
it, or be supplied some o&i&t way ; and this is the relief of my rolling 
thoughts, that while I am writing this, this moment is passing away, 
and all the hazards of want and sickness shall be at an end. My 
mother writes to me and presses my coming up. I know not yet if 
that can be ; but I intend, God wilUng, so soon as I can conveniently, 
if I come not, to take some course that things be done as if I were 
there. I hope you will have patience in the mean time. Remember 
my love to my sisters. The Lord be with you, and lead you in his 
ways. Your loving brother [signed] R. Leighton^ dated Newbottle, 
Feb. 4. 1660.'^ 

When the Scottish religious parties could not agree among them- 
selves, and each were anxious to obtain an ascendancy, the English 
Parliament, now paramount, appointed Sequestrators, witili an ample 
commission to superintend tiie setting aside, or planting churches or 
universities. These uniformly supported what would now be styled 
the Evangelical party, then called the Remonstrants, to which Lti^- 
ton had always adhered, although he had differed on the political 
question of the Engagement ; and firom among these the Sequestrators 
filled up all the vacancies that occurred, — ^for tiiey were men of superior 
talents, and generally reported of superior sanctity. And it is here de- 
serving especial notice, tibiat the Parliament first, and Cromwell after- 
wards, filled the public situations in the church and universities of 
Scotland, solely with men of acknowledged abilities and good conduct, 
and in the civil courts with Judges of strict integrity and worth. 

In the search after persons capable of filling eminent stations, Leigh- 
ton was not overlooked ; he was called to the highly responsible office of 
Principal in the University of Edinburgh. William ColviUe, minister 
of the Scottish Church at Utrecht, had been previously elected, but as 
he was a known enemy to the existing government, he was set aside, 
and the magistrates of the capital, who have always shown a due 
submission to the powers that be, joined in presenting Mr Robert 
Leighton, " who was prevailed with to accept of it, b^use in it he 
was wholly separated firom all church matters."" The ministers were joint 
patrons, but refused to vote, ** because, though they were content with 
Mr Robert Leighton, they were not clear in the manner of the call."" 
This event took place early in 1653, and in the month of July follow- 



ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON. kifi 

ing, the General Asgembly was conducted byLiei}t.-C6L CottereU, under 
a guard of foot-musqueteers and dragoons, a mile beyond Edinburgh, 
where they were dismissed and oonmianded ne^er more to assemble ; 
Government conceiving that they as^med a dvil power inconsistent 
with the peace of the realm. Synods and inferior judicatories were 
allowed to meet, but from this time all coercive power was removed 
from the church, and she was left to wield her own proper arms. Whe- 
ther the English Parliament interfered to enforce the Covenant or not, is 
uncertain, though shortly after it was positively forbidden. Leighton', 
however, both took it himself, and enforced it upon others during this 
period, so that he cannot beconsidered as having withdrawn from Pres- 
byterian communion till afterwards, as indeed there was no other form 
of religion professed publicly, till the Independents gave a free toleriu- 
tion to all, when several sects sprung up, to n<me of which could he, 
as Principal of the University, have joined himself. 

His labours in this office were abimdant. fie delivered a theolo- 
gical lecture in Latin once a wedc to the Students, ajid at stated in^* 
tervals preached to them in the CoUege Church. These prelections, 
which form the 6th vol. of Jerment^s Edition of his works, attracted 
crowds, who were charmed with the elegance of his style, and the 
animation of his delivery. They were translated by Dr Fall, and 
will be found in the present volume. He did not however confine his 
attention to his public duties ; in his private conversation with the 
young men, he laboured to form their minds to the practice of virtue, 
and his instructions were happily enforced by his own example ; in- 
deed, in public or private, religion was the vital principle of his soul^ 
the element in whidh he breathed. 

For dght years Scotland enjoyed under the Commonwealth a de- 
gree of proqierity and quiet, such as that country had scarcely ever 
known; and Kirkton and other contemporary writers bear testimony 
to its being a time, in which religion flourished more than almost at 
any period upon record ; and so widely diffiised had been the benefits 
of common education in the lowlands, particularly the west and the 
south, that there was hardly afomily which could not read, and which 
had not a Bible. For these benefits Scotland had been partly indebt- 
ed to the establishment of Parish Schools by iiie Act 1633, but chiefly 
to the assiduity of the parochial Clergy, who had always shown the 
deepest interest in the education of the peasantry. The unwearied 
pains they took, and the good effects which followed, may be judged 
of fi^m tiie caricature which Bidiop Burnet draws of a faithfril my- 
mstry, and a godly people, and making the necessary deductions for 
his episcopalian prejudices, it in the most material points confirms the 
perhaps too flattering picture of Kirkton: ^' The former incumbents,^' 
are his words, '* were a grave, solemn sort of people ; their spirits were 
eager, and their tempers sour ; but they had an appearance that creaU 
ed respect* They were related to the chief fsunilies in the country 
rither by blood or marriage, and had lived in so decent a manner that 
the gentry paid great respect to them. They used to visit their parish- 
es, much^ and were so fiill of the Scriptures, and so ready at extempore 
prayer, that from that they grew to practise eartempore sermons ; for 



xiv LIF£ OF 



the eufltom in Scotland was^ ah&c dinner or supper, to read a chapter *^ 

in the Scripture, and where they happened to come, if it was accept- ^ 

able, they on the sudden expounded the chapter. They had brought ^ 

the pe(^Ie to such a degree of knowledge, that cottagers and servants ^ 

would have prayed extempore. I have often overheard them at it; \^ 

and though there was a large mixture of odd stuff, yet I have been ^ 

Astonished to hear how copious and ready they were in it. Their ^ 

ministers generally brought them about them on the Sunday nights, f 

when the sermons were talked over ; and every one woman, as well ^ 

as man, were desired to speak their sense and their experience, and by "■ 

these means they had a comprehension of matters of religion, greater '^ 

than I have seen among people of that sort anywhere.**^ ^^ And as they ^ 

[the ministers] lived in great familiarity with their people, and used «■ 

,to pray, and to talk oft with them in private, so it can hardly be imr- ^ 

agmed to what a degree they were loved and reverenced by them. ^ 

They kept scandalous persons under a severe discipline ; for breach 11 

4>f Sabbath, for an oath, or the least disorder in drunkenness, persons 'i 

were cited before the church-session, that consisted of ten or twelve of ^ 

the chief of the parish, who with the minister had this care upon Jt 

them, and were solenmly reproved for it.*" << These things had a grave ( 

appearance, their &ults and defects were not so conspicuous.^ Leigh- n 

ton, who well knew that the preservation of such a system depended, 1 

humanly speaking, upon the education of the ministers themselves, j 

and the providing suitable teachers, set himself to promote both these « 

olgects, and he obtained an annuity of £ 200 from the Protector to i 

aid his beneficent plans, but the death of that great nmn caused a t 
universal stagnation of every praisewortiiy project, and the restoration 

threw the country half a century back in the progress of improvement. i 

During the vacations he frequently made excursions to London 1 

tmd to the Continent In his visits to the Capital he was an occasional 1 

attendant at Cromwell^s court, of whose clergymen Burnet makes 1 

him give a very contemptuous character : ^^ they were men of unquiet 1 

and meddling tempers : and their discourses and sermons were dry i 
and unsavoury, {uU of airy cant, or of bombast swdlings.^^ Had tha 

Bishop been kind enough to have given the names of these worthies 1 

that he employs thevenonted shade of Leighton to stigmatize, it 1 

might have been possible to judge of the justice of the ehaige^ at least i 
to discriminate, for never did England produce a body of abler divines, 
freer from <^ bombast or sweUing8,''^-unless the overflowing of hearts 
earnest in the cause of God were such,— than what assembled in the 
court and enjoyed the countenance of the Protector ; but as a gmeral 
charge can only be met by a general answer, I would refer those who 
wish to see a fuller account of some of these traduced ministers, to 
Orme's Life of Owen, a work which contams a great deal o£ not com-* 
mon information respecting the ecclesiastical literature of *^ the Seeta-i 
ries,^ among whom were men in whose society Leightcm would have 
met neither disgust nor degradation. 

According to the same authority, however, the Principal found himsdf 
more at home among the Romanists at Douay, and derived much ad* 
vantage during his frequent visits to that coUf^, from the pious lives of 



ARCHBISHOP LEIOHTON. cv 

some of these reUgionkts ; but Leighton himself has declared his own 
opinioa of the Roman Catholic system, and of its opposition to Chris- 
jdanity in its flmdamental articles, distinctly and repeatedly. Now, if 
a system be wrong in the foundation, what does it agnify how &ir 
the structure! if a man build on sand, the more precious the materials 
of his house, the more terrible the ruin; and if the Boman Catholics 
have, as Leighton affirms, [vide remarics on 1 Peter, chap. ii. ver. 6.} 
despised that stone which God hath made the head of the comer, 
would any of the Lord's people wish to take a pattern from their mode 
of moulding or polishing other living stones of their temple ! The 
Romish system is designated in scripture^ Mystery, Babylon, the mo- 
ther of abominations ; and instead of learning from her children, the 
command is, ^^ Come out from among them, be ye separated from 
them ; come out of her, that ye be not partakers of her plagues."^ 

With regard to monkish seclusion, to which some of his friends allege 
be was partial, he thus speaks : ^^ Tliis is amongst many others a miscon- 
oeit in the Romish Church, that they seem to make holiness a kind of 
impropriate good, that the common sort can have little share in almost 
all piety, being shut up within cloister walls as its only £t dwelling. 
Yet it hath not liked their lodging it seems, but is flown over 
the walls away from them, for there is little of it even there to be 
found ; but however, their opinion places it there as having little 
to do abroad in the world, whereas the truth is, that all Christians 
have this for their common task, though some are under more peculiar 
obligations, [alluding to ministers] to study this one oopy.^'^-^Remarks 
on 1 Peter iii. 13. 

I should not have said so much on a subject in which our anthor 
IB so expUcit, had it not been that some of his former biographers 
seemed anxious to exalt the papists at the aipense of the Presbyterians 
and Independents, by representing the amiable prelate as deriving so 
much advantage from his intercourse with them, while he was forced 
almost to flee the world, to get rid of the contention and bombast of 
the others. 

It is not mentioned to whom the following letter was addressed, 
written while he was principal, but it throws some light on the estirna* 
tion in which he held that species of learning so much esteemed among 
' Roman Catholics : ^^ Meanwhile I think I have at a venture given up 
with the contemptible desires and designs of this present world, and 
must have something beyond them all, or nothing at all : and though 
this ^m»%^ Das, this base clod of earth I carry, still depresses me, 
I am glad that even because it does so I loath and despise it : and 
would say. Major sum et ad majora genitos, quam ut mancipium mm 
Vilis corpusculi ; I am greater, and bom to greater things, than to be 
the slave of a vile bodv^ I have sent you two little pieces of history, 
wherein it may be you^ill find small relish, but the hazard is small; 
and however, I pray you do not send them back to me at all, for I 
have enow of that kind ; the one is from a good pen, and an aoquaiot- 
ance and friend of yoiurs, Panlus Nolanus, and his life of Martin 
Tour I think you wUl relish, and I think it is not in your Vitce Pa- 
trum : the other, Valerius Maximus, I conceived. wQuld cloy you the 



1 



svi LIFE OF 

less, because it is of so much variety of selected examples, and the 
stages are so short, you may begin and leave off vhere you will with* 
out wearying. But when all is done, there is one only blessed story 
wherein our souls must dwell, and take up their rest : for ambngst 
all the rest we shall not read, Venite ad me, omnes lassi et laoorantes, 
et ego vobis requiem prestabo :— come unto me, all ye th^at labour and 
are heavy laden, and I shall give you rest ; and never any yet that 
tried him but found %im as good as his word : to whose sweet em- 
braces I recommend you, and desire to meet you there.**^ 

At this time in Scotland, as at all times when a form and profession 
of religion is feshionable, a number of formalists and hypocrites min* 
gled in the crowd, and as hollow vessels sound loudest, Ihey were 
generally the most noisy. To such as these Leighton seems to allude 
in the following epistle, supposed to have been written much about 
the same time. 

*^ Sir,^-Oh what a weariness is it to live amoi^ men, and find so 
few men, and among Christians, and find so few Christians) so much 
talk, ana so little action, religion turned almost to a tune and air 
of words ; and amidst all our pretty discourses, purallanimous and 
base, and ao easily dragged into the mire, self, and flesh, and pride, 
and passion, domineering while we speak of being in Christ and cloth- 
ed with him, and believe it, because we speak it so often, and so con- 
fidently. Well I know you are not wilfing to be thus gulled, and 
having some glances of the beauty of holiness, aim no lower than per- 
fection, which in end we hope to attain, and in the meanwhile the 
smallest advances to it are more worth than crowns and sceptres. I 
believe it you often think on lliese words of the blessed champion 
Paul, 1 Cor. ix 24, ^* Know ye not that they which run in a race 
run all, but one receiveth the prize ? so run that ye may obtain. 
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things : 
now, they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, we an incorruptible. I 
therefore so run, not as uncertainly: so fight I, not as one that 
beateth the air, but I keep under my body and bring it into subjec- 
tion, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I my- 
self should be a castaway .**" There is a noble guest within us, O I 
let aU our business be to entertain him honourably, and to live in celes- 
tial love within, that will make all thmgs without be very contemptible 
in our eyes. I should rove on did not I stop myself, it felling out well 
too for that, to be hard upon the past hours ere I thought of writing. 
Therefore good ni^t is all I add : for whatsoever hour it comes to 
your hand, I believe you are as sensible as I, that it is still night, but 
the comfort is, it draws nigh towards that bright morning ihat shall 
make amends. — ^Your weary fellow pilgrim, — R. L.^' 

During the troublous period of the civil \w, the parties, and sects, 
and sections of sects, were probably not so numerous as in the present 
day, but they were more violent, inasmuchas religion then was more the 
occupationof amanthanit is now, and the public attention was more 
undividedly directed towards that subject, as general knowledge was 
neither widely spread, nor much cultivated by the community at large. 
Good ipen^ however of all parties, deplored the spirit of stnife and de- 



ARCHBISHOP LEI6HT0N. tvii 

iMitewhich in toomaay instances wad allowed to corrode tbe vitals of Chris- 
tianity, anddestroy that spiritof love withoutwhich the purest orthodox)'' 
ifl of little consequence in promoting the cause of Christ. Among these 
Lieigfaton was conspicuous, and incessant in inculcating the doctrine of 
]ieace and charity, and this he did foy directing the minds of his hearers 
to the more important matters of the law, and not by indifference to any 
fimdamental truth. The manner in which he fulfilled his duty towards 
his pupils while Principal of Edinburgh University, he explains in a 
beautiful valedictory oration which he delivered to the students before 
he retired. 

^< Though this,"^ says he, *^ I imagine is the last address I shall ever 
have occasion to make to you, I will not detain you long from your 
studies, nor encroach on the time allowed you for recreation. This 
is, to be sure, the first time that some of you have heard me, but I have 
a great many others to bear witness of the constant design of all my 
dissertations in this place. They will testify, that the intention of all 
my discourses, was that the ^^ form of sound words,^ that is, the Chris- 
tian doctrine, and, consequently, the fear and love of God, might not 
only be impressed, but also engraven upon your hearts, in lasting and 
indelible characters, and that you might not only admit as a truth, 
but also pay the highest regard to, this indisputable maxim, ^< that 
piety and religion is the only real good among men.*" Moreover, tiiat 
your minds might be the less encumb^ed in their application to this 
grand study of religion, and the more expeditious in their progress 
therein, I constantly endeavoured, with all possible warmth, to divert 
you from those barren and thorny questions and disputes, that have 
infected the whole of th^lc^ ; and this at a time, when the greatest 
part of divines and professors, and those of no small reputation, en- 
ga^^ng furiously in such controversies, haveisplit into parties, andun- 
happily divided the whole world. 

.*^ It was my constant practice, to establish those great and uncontro- 
verted articles of our holy religion, which are but few and clear ; 
some part whereof are confirmed by the common consent of nations, 
and aU the human race, and all the rest by the unanimous voice of the 
whole Christian world. Of the first sort, are those we have often ad« 
vanced in treating of the being and perfections of the one ^preme 
and Eternal Principle, and the production of all things by him, the 
continual preservation and government of the world by his provi* 
dence, the law of God given to mankind, and the rewards and punish* 
ments annexed to it. This other class of the grand articles of religion, 
are indeed peculiar to Christian philo6<^hy, but believed in comm<m 
by all the professors of that religion. These are the great foundations 
of our fiiith, and of all our hope and joy, with regard to the incarnation 
of the Son of Grod, his death and resurrection fbr the destruction of 
ain, and consequently of death, his ascension into the highest heavens 
with that same flesh of ours in which he died, and his exaltation there 
above all ranks of angels, dominions, and throngs, whence we expect 
he will return in great glory, on that day when he will be glorifi^ in 
ail his saints, and admired in those that believe. 

** As many therefiiNre as desire to receive him in this his last manifes- 

h 



zviii LIFE OF 

tation, with joy and exultation, must of necessity be holy^ and in oon.- 
formity to their most perfect and glorious Head, sober, pious, upright, 
and live in contempt of this perishing, transitory world, their own 
mortal flesh, and the sordid pleasures of both ; in a word, aU the en- 
joyments which llie mean and servile admire, they must trample under 
fck>t and despise. For whoever will strive for the victory, and strive 
so as at last to obtain it, the Lord will own him for his servant, and 
the great Master will acknowledge him for his disciple. He will at- 
tain a likeness to God in this earth, and after a short conflict, will 
triumph in the divine presence for ever. These are the doctrines which 
it is our interest to know, and in the observation of which our happi- 
ness will be secured. To them you will' turn your thoughts, young 
gentlemen, if you are wise ; nay, to theih you oug^t to give due at« 
tention that you may be wise ; lliese phantoms we catch at fly away; 
this shadow of a Ufa we now live, is likewise on liie wing. These 
things that are without the verge of sense, and above its readi, are 
the only solid and lasting enjoyments. ^^ Why are ye fond of these 
earthly things,*^ says St Bernard, ^^ which are neither true riches, nor 
are they yours ?^ ^^ If they are yours,^^ continues he, '^ take them with 
you.^ And Lactantius admirably well observes, ^^ that whoever pre- 
fers the life of the soul, must of necessity contemn that of the body ; 
nor can he aspire to the highest good, unless he despise advantages of 
an inferior kind. For the all-wise Grod did not choose that we should 
attain to immortality in a sofik and indolent way, but that we should 
gain tliat inexpressible reward of eternal life, with the highest diffi« 
culty and severest labour. 

<' And that you may not be discouraged, remember thegreat Redeem- 
er of your soi:ds, your exalted Captain, hath gone before you, and we 
have to do with an enemy already conquered. Let us only follow 
him with courage and activity, and we have no ground to doubt of 
victory ; and indeed it is a victory truly worthy of a Christian, to sub- 
due the barbarous train of our appetites, and siibject tiiem to the empire 
of reason and religion ; while on the other hand, it is the most diame- 
fill bondage, to have the more divine part of our composition meanly 
subjected to an ignoble earthly body. Now this victory can only be 
secured by stedfost believing, vigorous opposition to our spiritual 
enemies, unwearied watching, and incessant prayer. Let prayer not 
only be the key that opens the day, and the lock that shuts the night; 
but let it be also, from morning to night, our staff and stay in all our 
labours, and enable us to go dieerfoUy up into the mount of God. 
Prayer brings consolation to the languishing soul, drives away the 
devU, and is the great medium whereby all grace and peace is oonw 
inunicated to us. With regard to your reading, let it be year par- 
ticular care to be familiarljr acquainted with the sacred scriptures 
above all other books whatever ; for from thence you will truly derive 
light for your direction, and sacred provisions for support on your 
journey* In subordination to these, you may also use the writings of 
pious men, that are agreeable to them : for these also you may improve 
to your advantage, and particularly tliat little book of a Kempis of the 



ARCHBISHOP LfilQHTON. jrix 

ImUation of Christy — since the sam and substance of reHgioa oonnsts 
in iButating that being that is the object of your worship. 

<^ May our dear Redeemer Jesus, impres3 upon your minds a lively 
representation of hb own meek and immaculate heart, that, in 
tiiat great and last day, he may by this mark know you to be his ; 
and together with all the rest of his sealed and redeemed ones, admit 
you into the mansions of eternal bliss. Amen.^ 

With this admirable address, which I have not chosen to abridge, 
LeigfatoQ appears po have dosed his University labours ; a new scene 
now began to open upon him, one for which he suffered much in his 
reputation and us^ulness am<mg his contemporaries, and which bis 
admirers, even now, find it hard to do more than excuse,— -his abani 
doning the Presbjrterians, and accepting a Bishopric from Charles II* 
Had Leighton merely e^hanged tiie Presbyterial form for the £pis« 
eopalian, his conduct would have admitted of an e^ justification ; 
his earliest sentiments appear to have been in &vour of a modified 
Episcopacy, unconnected with temporal power, or lordly state ; and 
the power of a Presbytery, when tyrannically exerted, he considered 
as more oppressive than that of a prelate,*— in which opinion he en« 
tirely coincided with Owen ; — besides, he considered church-govern* 
ment as a matter of comparatively little moment, when put in com*? 
petition with personal holiness, and his meek soul was daily harassed 
by angry controversialists who surrounded I^m, of many of whom he 
thought justly, that, while they contended fiercely for the form, thqr 
felt litde of the power of religion. Changing therefore merely from 
the one profession to the other, under such circumstances, and holding 
sadi opinions upon these matters, would have been comparatively^ 
if at all, a venial error. But to join hands with such a set of men 
as those with whom he associated, and lend the sanction of Jiis name 
to as foul a usurpation of the supren^ Kingship of Christ in his 
Church, and as imblu^ing an invasion of the rights of Christian peo* 
pLe, as ever was attempted, since the day when temporal potentate^ 
first assumed an unholy influence within her pale, was a proceeding 
which it is extremely difficult to account for. 

Presbyterian diurch-govemment, and civil liberty, had been solemn- 
ly sanctioned by Charles II. at his coronation at Scoone, and ratified 
by the most sacred oaths, and most awfiil engagements known among 
men; an immense majority of the nation were strongly attadbied to iU 
and he bad promtsed, in a written communication to the ministers at 
Edinburgh, after his restoration, to preserve it. But the profligate 
adviflers by wh<Hii he was surrounded, had determined to establish a 
dvil d^rpotiffmj to which, from early education, and his residence 
mkraoA^ be was mightily inclined ; and the constitution of the Scottish 
Chuidi being esteemed a barrier, it was resolved that it should be 
Bweft away ; — besides, the king, and several of die leading pen, had 
found tiie strictness of Pr^byterian discipKne, and the decent morality 
which it nsquured, totally inconsistent with the licentiousness they 
loved, and the conduct they intended to pursue. 

Sharpe, who should have defended, allured by the primacy, betray- 
ed bis Charch, and a crowd of sycophajots, who hastened tp Londofi 



tt^ LIFE OF 

to secure their private interests, were easily persuaded to jom in tlie 
&lse representation, that a majority in Scodand detested the covenant, 
and desired her overthrow. Episcopacy therefore was resolved upon, 
and the hated fahric of prelacy, which had been so triumphantly le- 
velled, was once more to be reared. Sydserf, the old Bishop of Gal* 
loway, was the only fragment of the former Hierarchy that remained. 
He bad been deposed by the Assembly 1638, for erroneous doctrine^ 
but was now nominated to the Bishopric of Orkney, a much better 
living. The others were named chiefly by Sharpe, and promoted on 
kccount of their subserviency to the cause, rather than from any fit- 
iiess for the ofHce. Wiseheart, formerly chaplain to Montrose, and 
accused of a military freedom of manners, had Edinbui^h, and Fair. 
foul, a person of no good £sime, got GHasgow ; nor were any of the rest 
men of much reputation, either forleamuig or sanctity. Leighton 
alone formed one exception, and Kirkton, who is not very willing to 
praise whoever accepted the prelatic dignity, thus notices his appoint- 
ment : ** Mr Robert Lieighton, then principal of Edinburgh College, 
was made Bishop of Dmtfblane; thus he choised to demonstrate totiie 
world, avarice was not his principle, it being the smallest revenue ; a 
man of good learning, excellent utterance, and very grave abstract 
conversation, but almost altogether destitute of a doctrinal principle^ 
being almost indifferent, among all the professions that are caUed by 
the name of Christ.'^^ We are indebted to Burnet for an account of 
the manner in which the Bishopric was offered, and he was induced to 
accept of the nomination. 

His brother Elisha had devoted himself to the Court, and in order 
to serve his ambitious purposes, had changed his rriigion ; in this be 
appears to have succeeded, for he became at once a papist, a*knigiit, 
and secretary to the Duke of York ; he was a person of considerable 
talents and vivacity, loved to talk of great sublimities in religion,*— 
yet very immoral. Living in terms of close intimacy with Lord Au- 
bigny, a brother of the Di^e of Richmond, a great fiivourite at court, 
who had also changed his religion, and though a Priest, was likewise 
« a very vicious man,^^ he brought Mr Robert Leighton and him to- 
gether. Aubigny, who was acquainted with the then secret of the 
King'^s religion, which was popish, and with his design to establish 
it if possible, was induced by the representations of Sir Elisha, and 
by the mild manners of Leighton himself, to supposis that he might 
be rendered subservient to the scheme, and mentioned him to the King. 
Charles, who had sufficient penetration to perceive that the aocessioju 
of such a man to the Scottish prelacy would be of immense importance, 
named him himself as one of the number. Leighton was exceedingly 
averse at first to the proposal, but the entreaties of royalty, and die 
urgency of his brother, who expected to rise still higher tiurough his 
means, with some faint expectation that he might he instrumental in 
tnoderating or healing the differences of the truly devout of the two 
persuasions, overcame his reluctancy, and he at last accepted, yet not 
>vithout a struggle, as the following letter, which is supposed to hava 
l>een written while he was deliberating, evinces. It >s addressed to the 
llev. Mr Aird [afterwards] minister, at T<HTiay.-— ** My dear Friend, 



ARCHBISHOP LEIGH TON. Xii 

I hare received firom you the kindest letter that ever you ^rote me :i 
and that you may know I take it so, I return you the free and^ 
friendly advice, never to judge any man before you hear him, nor 
any bosineas by one side of it. Were you here to see the other, 
I am coD&deat your thoughts and mine would be the same. Your 
have both too much knowledge of me, and too much charity ta 
think, that ddier such little contemptible scraps of honour or riches,' 
sought in that part of the world with so much reproach, or any hu- 
man complacency in the world, will be admitted to decide so grave a 
questioii, or that I would sell, — ^to speak no higher, — ^the very sen-^ 
anal pleasure of my retirement, for a rattle, &r less deliberately do any 
thing that I judge offends God. For the ofience of good people, in 
eases indifferent in themselves, but not accounted so by them, what* 
soever you do, or do not, you shall offend some good people, on the 
one side or other. And for those with you, the great fallacy in thia 
business is, that they have mis-reckoned themsdves in taking my silence, 
and thdr zeal, to have been constant and participative, which how 
great a mistake it is, few know better or so well as youiBelf : and thd 
truth is, I did see approaching an inevitable necessity, to strain with 
them in divers practices, in what station soever remaining in Britain^ 
and to have escaped further off,— which hath been in my thoughts,-— 
would have been the greatest scandal of all. And what wiU you say 
if there be in this thing somewhat of that you mention, and would 
allow of reconciling devout on different sides, and of enlarging these 
good souls you meet with from their little fetters, though possibly with 
little success ; yet the design is commendable, — ^pardonable at least. 
However, one comfort I have, that in what is pressed on me, there 
is the least of my own choice, yea, on the contrary, the strongest aver- 
sion that ever I had in any thing in all my life ; the difficulty in short 
lies, in a necessity of either owning a scruple which I have not, o^ the 
mtot disobedience to authority that may be. The truth is, I am yet 
importuning and struggling for a liberation, and look upward for it^ 
but whatsoever be the issue, I look beyond it, and this weary weary 
wretched life, through which, the hand I have resigned to, I trust, will 
lead me in the paths of his own choosing, and so I may please him, I 
am satisfied. I hope that if ever we meet, you shall find me in the 
paths of solitude and a devout life, your unaltered brother and friend, 
R. L. 

<< When I set pen to paper, I intended not to exceed half a dozen 
lines, but slid on insensibly thus &r ; but though I should fill this 
paper on all sides, still the right vie^ of this business would be ne» 
cesaaiily suspended till meeting. Meanwhile hope well of me^ and 
pray for me. This word I wiU add^ that as there hath been nothing 
of my choice in the thing, so I undei^ it, — ^if it must be, — as a mor- 
tification, and that greater than a cell and hair-cloth ; and whether 
any will believe this or no, I am not careful.^ 

If thb letter was written, as it probably was, after the first parliament, 
in which the king's supremacy was established,, and by which Argyle 
and Guthrie were condemned, it shows how much Leighton had abstract- 
ed himself from the^occurrences of the day, and how little he was ac- 



nil LIF£ Of 

qtuiinted with the politica-tlieolo^cal stateofllie country, that heahould 
entertain even the slightest hope of advancing the interest either of 
peace or religion, hy accepting a Bishopric in Scotland, and connecting 
himself with a band of apostates, who had so iniquitously commenced 
thmr atrocious career. His whole life proved, that Leighton was wholly 
uninfluenced hy sordid or secular motives ; hut while we acknowledge 
his principles to be pure, and his personal behaviour exemplary, it may 
£Eur]y be questioned, how ficur in this instance his conduct was justifiable, 
m holding fdilowship with those who framed mischief by a law, who 
gathered themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and oon^ 
demned bnocent blood ; but as he foresaw, it proved to him a life of suf- 
fering, and he was, after years of mental anguish, forced to withdraw 
from the scene, and frx>m all participation in measures, of which he left 
a strong condemnatory sentence in his affirmation to Charles, ** that 
he would not consent to propagate Christianity itself by such means.*^ 
The following letter appe»^ to have been written about this time t 
** Dear Friend, I did receive your letter, which I would have known 
to be yours, though it had no other sign but the piety and aflfeetionate 
kindness expressed in it. I will otkr you no apology, nor I hope I need 
not, for not writing since that to you. I will confess, that if the surpritf- ^ 
ing and unexpected oooasion of the bearer had not drawn it from me, 
I should hardly for a long time to come, have done what I am now 
doing, and yet still love you more than they do one anotb^, that inter- . 
change letters even of kindness, as often as tlie gazettes come forth, and 
as long as they are too. And now I have begun, I would end just here; 
for I have nothing to say, nothing of affairs to be sure, private nor 
public ; and to strike up to discourses of devotion, alas ! what is there 
to be said, but what ydu sufficiently know,' and daily read, and daily 
think, and I am confident, daily endeavour to do ; and I am beaten 
back, if I had a great mind to speak of such things, by the sense of 
so great deficiency in doing these things, that tike most ignorant among 
Christians cannot choobe but know. Instead of all fine notions to fly 
to «VM lAtDtf-Af ;^tirri lA2«»f , I think them the great heroes and excel- ^ 
lent persons of th6 world, that attain to high degrees of pure contem- 
plation and divine love ; but next to theere, them that, in aspiring to 
that, and falling short of it, fall down into deep humiliation and self- 
contempt, 4nd a real desire to be despised and trampled on by all 
the world. And I believe, that they that sink lowest into that depth, 
stand nearest t6 adviibcement to tLbse other heights : for the great 
King who is Hie fouhtaili of that honour, hath g^ven us this character 
of himself, that he resists the proud, and gives grace to the himible. 
FaTeWiall, fay dear Mend, and be so charitable as sometimes in your 
addressed Upwards to remember a poor caitiff who no day forgets you. 
R. L. 18th Dec. IBye.'^ 

Sydfi^rJF, the withered twig of the old stem, not being sufficiait to com- 
municate the undefinable sacredness of the fM*elatic diaracter to a new 
generation, four of the bishops elect were summoned to the English 
capital, to receive fix>m the bishops of London and Worcester such 
nfts as they could bestow by the lAiposition of their <* holy*** hands. 
Sharpe and Leighton having received Presbyterian ordination, they 



ARClIBISnOP LEIGHTON xtiil t| 

hesitated about' being re-ordamed, but ae it was ddiemiiii^d that Preft. 

bytery should be destroyed root and branch, that was declared invalid, 

and after some short difl|^utation, they submitted to receive the orders 

of deacon and priest, previouisly to their consecration as bishops 

Hamilton and Fairfoul had previously to 1638 received the orders 

from the abrogated Scottish Hierarchy, which were held good. Td 

this act, which desecrated the whole of the Scottish ministers, even had 

they been inclined to conform, Leightoif is said to have reconciled jl 

his mind by an evasion, — that the new ceremony was only declaratory | 

of his admission into another communion, but did not destroy the sanc^ 

tity of his former ordination ; a distinction which Presbyterians would 

not readily be brought to comprehend. 

Consecrated however they all were at Westminster on the 12th 
December 1661, with much clerical splendour, and a series of feasting 
between the nobles and the bishops followed, which grieved Leighton'^l 
pious soul, and gave plain aurary of what kind of church they were 
about to establish. It is peitectly clear there was no community of 
soul between them ; Sharpe hated and opposed him, and even Sheldon 
** did not much like his great strictness, in which he had no mind to 
imitate him,^ though both he and the rest of the English clei^ greatly 
preferred him before his brethren, whom he excelled, not more in the 
extent of his learning, than in the uprightness of his walk and conver- 
sation. His trials b^n almost immediately. 

When tiie rev^ry had ceased, he endeavoured to prevail upon Sharps 
to settle some plan for their future procedure, and proposed for his 
consideration,— first, his favourite project of attempting to bring about 
an umon between the Presbyterians and them, — ^next, the best means 
for promoting the growth of piety,— and then a method for gradually 
assimilating the mode of worship among the two persuasions. But he 
was sorely disappcnnted to find, that the Primate had formed no plan, 
and was unwilling to hear of any. He only looked forward to coer-* 
eive measures ; Episcopacy he knew would be established in the next 
Parliament, and when once they were legally settled in their dioceses, 
then he said every Bishop must do the best he could to get the people 
and dergy to submit to his authorilr ; which once eilfected, it would 
be sufficient time to proceed to regulate other matters. Fairfoul had 
always << a merry tale ready at hand to divert him^ whenever the sub* 
ject was started, so that he found it impossible to hold any serious con- 
▼ersation with him, of whidi indeed he did not seem capable. << By 
these meaas,^ adds Burnet, <^ Leighton quickly lost all heart and hope ; 
and said often to me upon it, that in the whole progress of that af&ir, 
there appeared sudi gross characters of an angry providence, that how 
fully soevor he was satisfied in his own mind as to Episo(qmcy itself, 
yet it seemed that God was against them, and that they were not lilie 
to be the men Aat should buUd up his dburch, so that the struggling 
about it seemed to him like a fighting against God. He who had the 
greatest hand in it, [Sharpe] proceeded with so much dissimulation ; 
and the rest of the order were so mean and so selfish, and the Earl of 
Middleton, with the other secular men that conducted it, were so openly 
impiow and vicious, that it did cast a r^roach on every thing relating 



kxiv LIFE OF 

to religion, to see it managed by such initruments.'" About the middle 
of next year they set out for Scotland, but Leighton, understanding 
that they meant to make a grand entry into Edinburgh, left them at 
Morpeth, and proceeded forward alone ;— ^tfae rest were received by 
the magistrates in their robes, with sound of trumpet, or, as was sarcas- 
tically remarked, ^' with the sound of the comet, flute, harp, sackbut, 
psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music,^ at the hearing of which, 
the people were to fall down, and worship the prelates whom the king 
had made. Leighton proceeded directly to Dunblane, and not only 
declined sharing in these pageantries, but even requested that his friends 
would not give him the title of '^ Lord,^ a request which, however eon- 
sonant with the injunctions of his heav^ily Master, was by no means 
agreeable to his earthly brethren. 

Episcopacy was set up by proclamation, the meetings of synods and 
presbyteries were forbid by the same authority, but it required an act 
of Parliament to restore the Bishops to their jurisdiction and their seats. 
This was done the first of the session 1662, in the most ample manner, 
and as soon as it was passed, the prelates who were in waiting, were 
invited by a deputation from each estate, to resume their places in the 
house, which they immediately did among the Earls on the right hand 
of the Commissioner, Leighton on this occasion also forming the only 
solitary exception. He was not however long suffered to enjoy his 
retirement, and the occasion which callM him from it, is highly ho- 
nourable to his memory. Several ministers, Mr John Carstairs, Mr 
James Nasmyth, Mr James Veitch, and some others, were accused of 
u/iing seditious language in their sermons, but the accusations could not 
be substantiated ; as was the custom however in these times, if a charge 
was brought against a presbyterian, and could not be proved, instead 
of being set free, the oath of allegiance, in which the King^s supremacy 
in all affairs civil and ecclesiastical was asserted, was ofiered them, and 
they were required to take it as a mark of loyalty ; — ^in this case tlie 
ministers were brought before parliament, and had the oath tendered. 
They required time to consider it, and after some days serious delibera- 
tion, gave in an explanation, in which they declared, ^^ they believed 
the King .was supreme governor over all persons, and in all causes, not 
only civil and ecclesiastic ; but that the power of the King is, in its 
own nature, only civil and extrinsic as to causes ecclesiastical.^ This 
explanation the Commission refused, upon which a debate arose, whe- 
ther an act explanatory of the oath should be offered to Parliament or 
not. Leighton strongly urged the propriety of its being done ; the land, 
he said, mourned by reason of the multiplicity of oaths, and the words 
of the present were certainly susceptible of a bad sense ; the papists in 
England had been allowed this privilege of explaining, and he diouglit 
a like tenderness should be shown to protestants, especially in a case 
where their scruples appeared to be just, otherwise it would look lik« 
laying snares for the people, by making men offenders for a word. Sharpe 
repli^ with great bitterness : he said that it was beneath the dignity of 
a government, to frame acts to satisfy the scruples of peevish men, and it 
ill became them who had forced their covenant on all ranks, without dis- 
tinction or explanation, to come forward now, and ask such a licence for 



ARCHBISHOP LEIOHTON. «x« 

theniBelves^— <^ For that verfreaflon,^ retorted Lesghton, <« it onght to 
be granted, that the world may perceive the diiFereaGe between the 
present mild government^ and their severity ; — nor does it become per- 
sons who complain of that rigour, to resort to similar harshness, lest 
thus it might be said, the world goes mad by turns.'*" <But his arguments 
were of no avail, — the ministers were re([uired to take the oath or un- 
defgo the penalty, imprisonment or exile; diey refused to subscribe, and 
preferre d to goffer : and Leightonhad only tiie consolation, of having 
attempted in vain to avert their oppression. 

For several yearswe do not meet witfi the Bishop^s namein any of the 
political transactions of the times, but we find from his charges to Ins 
dei^, and some few letters whidi have been preserved, that he was 
&r more faonourablv employed, in fulfilling the spiritual duties of his 
office. Of the difficulties witfi which he had to contend, some idea 
may be formed, from the character of the clergy over whom he was 
called to preside; this we we enabled to give from an episcopalian 
writer, and therefore the less liable to objection. At the close of the 
year 1662, about two hundred faithful ministers of Christ, rather than 
violate their consciences, gave up their livings in the west ot Scotland; 
and of these ^ number belonged to the diocese of Dumblane, of which 
an imperfect list is given in Wodrow^s Appendix. To fill their places, 
Burnet says, <^ There was a sort of an invitation sent over the king- 
dom, like a hue and cry, to all persons to accept of ben^ces in the 
west ; the livhigs were generally well endowed, and the parsonage 
houses were well built and in good r^ir, and this drew many very 
worthless persons thither, who had little learning, less piety, and no 
sort of discretion."" ^< They were the Worst preachers I ever heard, 
they were ignorant to a reproach, and many of them were openly 
VICIOUS, they were a disgrace to their order and the sacred function, 
and were indeed the dregs and refuse of the northern parts. Those 
of them who arose above contempt or scandal, were men of such vio- 
lent tempers, that they were as much hated as the others were despis- 
ed. This was the fatal Ix^nning of r^oring Episcopacy in Scotland, 
of whidi few of the bishops seemed to have any sense."" Only two 
non-conformists" names appear in the roll of the presbytery of Dumblane, 
which formed that part of the diocese more inunediately und^r the 
Biriiop"s eye; whether this was owing to the influence and persuasion 
of Leightcm, or whether the list be incomplete, it is impossible now to 
determine; but I should be rather apt to sum>ose the latter, as 
Wodrow affirms, that the clergy of the diocese formed no escception 
to the general character of these west country brethren. 

No blame, however, can attach to Leighton for this, he has left ush is 
recorded opinion of the manner in which he thought a people diQuld be 
treated, with regard to spiritual teachers, in a letter he wrote to tlie 
Heritdrs of Straiton, and which it would be well did the present pa* 
trons of presbyterian churches imitate. 

<< Worthy gentlemen and friends, — ^Being informed that it is my duty 
to jwesent a person fit for the charge of the ministry now vacant with 
yon, I have thought of one whose integrity and piety I am so fiiUy 
persuaded of, that I dare confidently recommend him to you as one. 



nxA LIFE OF 

\rho, if the hand of God do bind that woiic upon him i^nohgst jon^ \i 
llkelf, through the blessing of the same hand, to be very stfTBceabld 
to the building up of your souls heaventnurds* bat is as &r from suf* 
fering himself to be obtruded, as I am from obtruding any upon yon ; 
so that unless yon invite him to preach, and after hearing him dedait 
your consent and desire towards his embracing of the <»11, you may 
be secure from the trouble of hearing any farther concerning him, either 
from himself or me ; and if you please to let me know your mind^ 
your reasonable satisfaction shall be to my utmost power endeavoured, 
by your affectionate friend and humble servant, R. Lxiorton.^ 

The person here recommended was Mr James Aird, who had been 
a minister at Ingram in Northumberland, and was tiiep residing in 
Edinburgh ; he was afterwards minister at Toirey, so that it would 
appear tibe Heritors at Straiton h^d not taken the bishop^s advioa 
The following letter to the same gentleman, was probably written upon 
1;his occasion ; it is also without date. '* Dear Friend, — I trust you 
enjoy that same calm of mind touching your present concernment^ 
that I do in your behalf. I dare not promise to see you at Eduiburgh 
at this time, but it is possible I may. I laiow you will endeavour 
to set yourself on as strong a guard as you can, against the assaults 
you may meet with t^ere from diverse well-meaning piersons, but of 
weak understandings and strong passions, and will maintain the liberty 
of your own mind, both firmly and meekly. Our business is the study of 
sincerity and pure intention^ and then, certainly our blessed guide 
will not suffer us to lose our way for want of light ; we have his pro- 
mise, that if in all our ways we adaowledge him, he will direct our 
paths. While we are consulting about the turns and new motions of 
life, it is sliding away, but if our great work in it be going on, all is 
weU. Pray &»* your poor friend, R. L. — DumUane, Jan. 13lli.'*^ 

We have also, in a beautiful cpistle,-'-Hinfortanately without date or 
address, — his views of die temper and disposition he thought thoM 
should cultivate, whom he wished to introduce into the ministry. 

«c Sir,-^There is one place indeed in my precinct, and yet undis* 
posed of, by the voluntary removal of the young man who was in it 
to a better benefice ; and this is likewise in my hand, but it is of so 
wretchedly mean provision, that I am ashamed to name it, little I 
think above five hundred merks by year.* If the many instances 
of that kind you have read, have made you in love with volun* 
tary poverty, there you may have it ; but wheresoever you are, or shall 
be for the little rest of your time, I hope you are, and still will be 
daily advancing in that blessed poverty of i^xrit, that is the only 
true height and greatness of qpirit in all the world, entitling to a 
crown, << finr this is the kingdom of heaven.^ Oh ! what are the 
•emps that the great ones ci this world are soramUing for, oom-. 
pared with that pretension i I pray you, as you find an opportu- 
nity, though possibly little or no indination to it, yet bestow one 
line or two* npon your poor friend and servant, R. L.^ 

Part of the diocese of Dumblane in the vicinity of the Highlands, 

* Thirtymiz poua4i fivo ihiUiiisi^ if the matk be leckorcd »t 2b. 9d. 



ARCHBISHOP LSIGHTON. izvtt 

irat at this period among the rtider pmrtioas of Scollaiidy and from 
tbe state of restlcssnen and contention in which they were kept uphy 
their nrighbonrs, laboured under the demoralizing influence of border 
mstomuB ; the Kahop therefoite, in his^arge, September 1662, expres- 
aa his anxious desire, '^tliat all dihgetioe be used for the repressing of 
pro&neness, and for the advancement of solid piety, and that not only 
scandals of unchastity, l>ut drunkenness, swearings cursing, filthy 
peaking, and mocking of region, and all other gross ofienoes be 
brought under churclMensure, and that scandalous offenders should 
not be absolved, till there appeared in them probable signs of true re* 
pentance.^ Although he does not mention the discipline of tiie Free* 
byterians, he urges upon his clei^ <he exercise of the most commend- 
able parts of their practice,— 4»techising, visiting, and frequent ez^ 
poondiilg of the Scriptures. At the Reformation, and before the com^ 
monalty oould read for themselves, there were public readers appoint* 
ed in the church, and the hour betweeo the second and third ringing 
of the Kirk bell on Sabbath, was usually employed in reading portions 
of the Old and New Testaments to the people; this practice, which had 
fidlen into dimise as education became more diffused, Leighton wished 
to revive, and urged upon his curates the advantage of making their 
people well acquamted widi the piure word of Gk>d» by carefully re# 
verting to this good <dd custom. He also strongly recommended their 
taking large portions of Scripture, and lecturing from them, rather than 
raising a tiieme from a single text, for he thought a number of short 
practical obe^rvations from a series of verses, preferable to a long di»» 
sertation fkom one. 

He wished likewise to establish daily public prayer* and reading the 
MS'iptures morning and evening in churches, in as far as these did not 
interfere with the private. or ftmily wonhip of the people; whioh 
duties he was eactremelv anxious to promote : as he was also of a tome 
frequent celebration of the Lord's supper ; but, above all, he pro* 
pounded to the brethren, that it WM to be reminded by himself and 
them, both to how eminent degrees of purity of heart and life theit 
holy calling did engc^e them, and to how great contempt of this pre^ 
sent worid and inflaoied affections towards heaven, springing from deep 
persuasions within them of those things they prtiadied to others ; and 
that they 'should be meek and gelitle, and lovers and exhnrters of peaoe 
private and puhlic, amonpt all ranks of men ; endeavouring rather to 
quench than to increase, the useless debates and cententions that 
abounded in the world, and be always more studiotas of pacific, than 
pcdemic divinity. 

While this exoellent.prelate was assiduously, but calmly endearouc* 
ing to alleviate the evils by which he was environed, the furious and 
insane council, dogged by the unprincipled orew of bisheps and 
cnirates, who were determined to force upon the nation a Hierarchy 
they universally detested, proceeded with the most cruel and incon-f 
siderate rashness, to desolate the church and the country by measures 
to which no conscientious and raligfatened people could ever anbmil 
Oaths opposed to every principle whidi had been recognised as sacred 
for nearly thirty years in Scotland, were proposed to men who feared 



Ixviii I'IFE OF 

an oath^ and those who mne&rdj believed in the divine institutUm of 
presbyteryt were required to renouaee it^ merely because iheir rulers 
deemed it expedient that they should do so, and to join a church whose 
form they considered unscriptural ; and whose dergy they viewed^ 
and (if Burnetts description be true,) justly viewed as children of Ihe 
devil. 

Had the people been like their priests or their rulers, indifferent at 
once to the reality and the formof fdipon, whatever piilt might have 
attached to compliance, there would have been little hardship ;• but 
educated as they had been, and well informed and well grounded 
as they were in their principles, numbers chose rather to suffer than 
to sin, and counted not their lives dear unto the death, that they might 
hold fost their int^rity; — the consequence was, that theland, like the 
prophef s scroll, from one end to the oth^ , was lamentation, andmoum- 
ing, and woe. Leighton, placed in the most trying of all possible 
situations, wept over what he could not prevent ; and, after a rickening 
struggle of about three years, resolved to withdraw from a situation 
as painful as it was unprofitable. In October 1665, after the business 
was over, he communicated his intention to the sjrnod. In a short 
address, he told them that all the account he could give of the reasons 
moving him to it, was briefly the sense he had of his own unworthi^ 
ness of so high a station in the church, and his weariness of their cour 
tentions, which seemed rather to be growing than abating ; and by 
their growth, to make so great abatements of that Christian meekness 
and mutual charity, that is so much more worth than the whole sum 
of all they contended about. He then thanked the brethren for all their 
undeserved respect and kindness manifested to himself, and desired 
their good construction of the poor endeavours he had used, to serve 
and to assist them in promoting the work of the ministry, and the 
great designs of the gospel in ihm bonnds ; and if in any thing, in word 
or deed, he had offended them, or any of them, he very earnestly and 
humbly craved their pardon ; and having recommended them to con- 
tinue in the study of peace and holiness, and of ardent love to our 
great £ord and Master, and to the souls he hath so dearly bought, he 
dosed with these words of the apostle : ^* Finally, brathren, forewell ; 
be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, and live in peace, and 
the God of peace and love shsdl be with you.''^ 

He was however prevailed upon, first to proceed to court, to give a 
foithftd representation of the miseries of the country, which he the 
more willingly did, as it was then supposedthat the king^s easy, careless 
good nature, imposed upon by Sharpe, would, when undeceived, sym- 

githize with the sufferers, and consent to more moderate methods, 
ut Charles was an accompli^ed profligate, and one of the mciet sd- 
fish of mortals ; his own enjoyment was the sole end of his existence, 
to that he sacrificed honour, veradty, and friendship, and evejry thing 
that an honest man would have held estimable ; he had howev^ a 
plausibility of manner, that imposed on the guildess or superficial ob- 
server. Leighton was imposed upon : — ^when introduced to the king, 
he told him fredy that the proceedings in Scotland were so violent, 
that he could not concur in planting the Christian religion itself in 



ARCHBISHOP LEI6HT0N. xxi« 

nidi a manner, mnch less a form of church govemment; and he there* 
fare begged leave to quit his bishopric, and retire, for while he retain- 
ed it, he thought he was in some manner accessory to the violence of 
the ecclesiastics with whom he was associated ; as it was given out 
that all these outrages were intended to establish their order. The 
King seamed touched with the statements when he heard them, 
and promised that more lenient measures should be pursued ; laid the 
Uame chiefly on Sharpe, and insisted upon the Bishop^s resuming his 
labcrars. According to Burnet, the consequence of these representations 
was, an order from Charles to discontinue the ecclesiastical commis* 
oon, and perhaps the King might claim some morit with Leighton 
fcr this, but the Scottish historians assert, that that court had already 
become contemptible with all ranks and parties ; and, no longer able to 
cany its own oppressive decrees into execution, was, if not defunct, at 
least on the point of expiring. 

Leighton however returned with renewed expectations, but it was 
only ta meet with renewed disappointment Sharpe at the bead of 
•die council managed all as he chose, — ^persecution continued to increase, 
-^and rdqrious men were confined, imprisoned, and banished, because 
Aey would not consent to attend the ministrations of those curates whose 
.character we have quoted above from an eye witness and an Episcopa- 
lian. Leighton could only sigh, like the prophet, <^ Oh that I had in 
the wilderness a lodging place of wayfimng men, that I might leave 
my people, and go from them r His letters in general want dates, 
and of course cannot be accurately arranged, but a fragment quoted 
.by Jerment may not inq>rQperly be placed about this time : << Thcnms 
grow every where, and from all things below, but to a soul transplant- 
-ed out of itsdf into the root of Jesse, peace grows every where too, 
from him who is called our peace, and whom we still find the more to 
be so, the more entirely we live* in him, being dead to this world and 
self, and all tilings beside him. O when shall it be ! Well ! Let all the 
world go as it will, let this be our only pursuit and ambition, and to all 
other tilings, Fiat voluntas tua, Ddmine, < Lord, thy will be done !' "^ , 

In the political an'angements respecting the Chiurch, he had never 
taiken much part, but in the meetings of his synod he appears to have 
been more interested, though, from a wish not to appear haughty or 
domineering, he had suffered irregukrities to pass unnoticed, whidi it 
would have required a stronger hand to repress. *^ I c<mfess,^^ says 
he, in his address to them, April 1667> *^ I C(mfess that my own in- 
active and unmeddling temper may be too apt to prevail against the 
known duty ct my station, and may incline me ratiier to inquire too 
little than too much into the deportment of others ; and rather to be 
deficient, than to exceed in admonitions and advices to my brethren 
in matters of tiieir duty ; and besides this natural aversion, the sense 
of my own great unwortiiiness and iilthiness may give me check, and 
be a very strong curb upon me, in censuring others for what may be 
araiffi, or in offmng any rules for the redress of it : And there is yet 
another consideration that bends still farther that way, for I am so de- 
mxooa to keep for off from the reach of that prejudice that abounds in 



4ys LIF£ of 

these parts against the very name of my sacred fdnction, as apf to 
command and domineer too much, that I may poesihly err on the 
other hand, and scarce perform the duty of the lowest and most mom 
derate kind of moderator, so that I am forced to spur and drive my* 
fielf against all these retardments, to suggest anything, how^ useful so* 
ever, heyond our road or accustomed ivay, eqpedally finding how litdt 
any thing of that kind takes and prevails to any nail eflPect.*" 

This humhle and mild introduction was prefixed to a charge intend* 
ed to remind them of their inattention to fanner instructions and admo* 
nitions, and to recommend pairticularly the ^* privy toiale^ of ministers 
in their presbyteries :-^these were examinations by die presbytery in* 
to the doctrine their members preached, the manner in which they 
fulfilled the duties of their office, and their moral and Christian oooduct 
«s ministers of th^ Gospel ; in which he said he had perodved in some 
places very much of superficial empty form. He therefore proposed a 
series of queries for their consideration, which he thought mi^t be 
useful : <^ For though,**^ he remarks, <<we ceat have noAing but every 
man'^s own word concerning himself, yet this does not render it an uae^ 
less thing, for besides that divers of the questions will be of things se 
t>bviou8 to public knowledge, that no man will readily adventure to 
-give an untrue answer where it may be so easily traced, there b nindi 
to be given to the presumed ingenuity and veraoity of a nrinister, es> 
pecially in what b solemnly and punctually enquired of him,*^Bnd 
whatsoever formerly hath been or hath not been, his former degree of 
diligence in the particulars, the very enquiry and adding eonoeming 
them will be apt to awake in every man a more serioue reflection upon 
himself touching each point.^ 

These questions were,— Whether he were assiduoos in plain and pro- 
fitable preaching ? diligent in catechising ? frequent in celebrating the 
communion F faithful in the exoxsiseof disdf^ne ? attentive in viaiting 
his flock ? careful of the relief of thepoor ? and plain and free in admon- 
ishing open transgressors ? Then, as the personal conduct of the clerg7- 
man was what could alone give weight and efficacy to his repnoh and 
instructions, more pointed queries followed : Whelher he watched 
exactly over his own conversation, not only giving no offienoe, bat being 
an example to his flock, and preaching by his living ? whether it be the 
great pleasure of his life to fulfil the woik of his ministry P if he does not 
only avoid gfoss ofi*ences, intolerable in a guide of souls, but studies daily 
to mortify pride, rash anger, vain glory, covetouaness andloveoftiiis 
world, and sensualpleasures, &c. and finally, whetherhebeat peace with 
his brethren, and be an ardentlover and promoter of it amongtfae people? 

From his pastoral charges it will be perceived that Leighton prized 
highly some of the characteristic features of Presbytery, and it redounds 
greatly to his honour, that he not only did not persecute the profianion 
he had forsaken, or behare harshly towards his fonner fellow-labouren^ 
but he retained as much of the form as he l^ally could, and as much of 
the practice as was attainable, while he treated the *< outed^ ministers as 
his brethren. He thought, however, that the mode of conducting pnhlic 
^rorship admitted of improvement, especially with regard to reading tiie 



' ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON. 

•eripturca wken tiie«oiigTCgatioii was aaBemUed, ihtse he rabommended 
to be lead in larger portioiiSy and also that the Lord's Prayer, die ten 
C omm a ndm ents, and the Creed, should be more irequentity rq)eated ; 
a practice for which he had the authority of the earlier reformers. 
How for Dumblane profited by his unwearied exertions and pious ez^ 
ampler it is impossible to say, but as he is still held in gnitefol remem* 
braaoe in that quarter, it is reasonable to suppose that his labours wera 
not altogether in vain. 

Among his follow prdates his conduct had only the effect of deepen. 
iBg thedbiade of their turpitude by the purity of its lustre. '^ I observ* 
ed,^ says Burnet, <^ the deportment of our bidiops was in all points so 
difierent from what became their function, that I had a more than ordi** 
aary zeal kindled witiiin me upon it. They were not only furious 
against all that stood out against them, but were very remiss in all the 
parte of their function. Some did not live widiin their dioceses, and 
Ihoae who did, seemed to take no care <tf them. They showed no zeal 
against vice ; the most eminently wicked in the country were their 
particular ccmfidants, they tock no pains to keep their clergy strictly 
to rules and to their duty ; on the contrary, there was a levity and a 
carnal way of living about them, that very much seandaliz^ me.^ 
And he tells na, that in a memorial which he wrote upon this occaaion, 
he diowed how they had departed from the primitive church, by 
neglecting their dioceses, meddling so much in secular affairs, raising 
their fomiKes out of the revenues of the churchy and above all, by their 
violent persecuting of those who differed from them. While Leightoa 
was pursuing his peacefol and holy avocations, the Primate was re^ 
veiling in the blood of the unfortunate covenanters, whom oppression 
had driven to resistance, and who had been scattered at Pentland, and 
the whde west and south were filled with prelatic vengeance, and legal 
and military executions. 

Political events (1667) which for a short time terrified Charles from 
his despotic projects, transferred the managemmt of Scottish afiairs 
into the hands of Lord Tweedale^ who, together with Lauderdale, by 
whom he was supported, was disgusted with the violence of Sharpe 
and his associates, and wished to restore his suffering country to some 
kind of tranquillity. Ecdesiastical grievances being the chief source of 
all the distractions, he entered into a dose communication with tlie 
bishop of Dumblan^ who was again prevailed upon to go to London^ 
where he faaid two audiences of the King ; — in these« he represented 
with honest freedom the madness of the former administration of -church 
affiurs, and the necessity of more moderate councils ; Charles listened^ 
and promised, and did nothing. Leijg^ton returned to his charge, 
where he remained, till in 1669 he was again called upon by Twee^* 
dale to make a new effort for restoring peace to the church. Ever 
anximis to promote thb object, the dearest to his heart, he hastened to 
lend what assistuiee he could. He proposed that a treaty of aceom^ 
modatiob shoukl be attempted \rith t;ie Presbyterians, for the piurpose 
of setting tiie differences completely at rest, by each party yieldil^f 
aomewfaa^ of their alleged rights and nmtual defnands. His plan 



tszii LIFE or 



^meirhat nmilar tot hat tpecies of Episcopacy under which he had beenr 
trained, and on «rhich he acted in hiB own diocese ; he proposed that 
the churdi courts should be retuned, and that the bbhops and mini-* 
sters should act together in them, the bishops being ex-officio perpe* 
tual presidents, or moderators,—- that the Presbyterians should be al- 
lowed, when they first sat down in these judicatories, to dedare, that 
their sitting under a bishop was submitted to by them only for peace 
sake, with a reservation of their opinion with relation to any such 
preridency,-— and that no negative vote should be claimed by the bishop : 
that bishops should go to the churches, in which such as were to be 
ordained were to serve, and hear and discuss any exceptions that were 
made to them, and ordain them widi the concurrence of the presbytery : 
that such as were to be ordained, should have leave to declare their 
opinion, if they thought the bishop was only the head of the Presby- 
ters. And he aho proposed, that there should be provincial Synods 
to sit every thhrd year, or oftener if the King shoiUd summon them, 
in which complaints of the bishops should be received, and they cen- 
sured if deserving.-— Bumet*s expression is amusing, ** and they diould 
be censured accordingly,'^ implying perhaps unintentionally, what was 
really the fiict, that if tiieir conduct were ever brought before a church 
^ooTtj censure must be the inevitable consequence. The same writer 
nJlegcBj that Leighton, in making these concessions, acted upon the 
same policy that James VI. did, only let the Bishops, however loosely, be 
peaceably admowledged, and they will gradually and eventually ac- 
quire a complete power in the church. This, for the sake of Leighton^s 
diaracter, I am willing to believe a misconception of his views ;— it is 
not improbable that the statesmen with whom he associated might 
have used such a]^;uments to influence the Episcopalians to comply 
with propositions which went to reduce tiieir antichristian domination, 
but that Leighton ever held out any such inducements, is not at all 
likely, especiaUy as in the above propositions he seems only to have em- 
bodied his earliest principles. The Earl of Kincardine, one of the 
leaders in the council,, was not averse to concessions being granted to 
the Presbyterians ; but he was of opinion that these concessions ought 
to be legalized by an act of parliament, and then it was probable they 
would submit to what they could not help, while, if proposed beflwe- 
hand, they would set themselves to state objections, and render aa 
agreement more hopeless than ever. Leighton coincUed with him in 
opinion, and Burnet was dispatched to sound Mr Hntchidon, a cousin- 
german of his own, and in high repute among the Presbyterians, 
but he was of opinion it would not meet the wishes of either 
party. Lauderdale objected, because, being the chief manager of 
Scottish afikirs, and suspected of fovouring tiie Presbyterians, he 
Was afraid lest the English bishops should think he was sacrificing the 
cause of Episcopacy to their enemies. The idea of an accommodation 
between tiie parties was therefore given up at this time. 

Yet the state of the country re^fiired that something should be done. 
The people would not attend the places where the curates, '< a set 
of men sp ignorant and so scandalous,^ officiated, while they flocked 



ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON. xzziU 

• 

to hear the zealous and ahle Presbyterian* or, as they were now called, 
** outed^ ministers, who now were forced to betake themselves to the 
fields, and beneath the wide canopy of heaven, proclaim the truths 
of the everlasting gospel. It was in consequence suggested, that a 
number of these ministers should be allowed to serve in the vacant 
parishes under certain restrictions, a fettered liberty, in opposition to 
the standing law of the country, which was granted by the King under 
the ironical name of an <^ Indulgences'^ and which was followed by - 
(me of the most oppressive acts that ever was framed for burdening the 
consciences of men, whose highest crime was contending for the Head- 
ship of Christ in his Church. 

This was the first of the Parliament 16699 asserting his majesty^s 
supremacy over all persons, and in all cases ecclesiastical, by virtue 
whereof, the ordering and disposal of the external government and 
policy of the church, was declai'ed properly to belong to the king, and 
his successors, as an inhereht right of the crown. This, which was an 
ex post facto legalizing of the king^s stretch of power in granting an 
indulgence,* was not agreeable to Leighton, yet he voted for it, al- 
though he afterwards expressed his regret at having allowed himself 
to be betrayed into such a compliance. Burnet, archbishop of Glas- 
gow, and all ^^ his sett,^^ who allowed the king every exorbitant prero- 
gative that he chose to claim, when the object was to crush Presby- 
tery, now complained loudly when the prerogative was exerted to fa- 
vour it His majesty'^s supremacy asserted by the act, was immediately 
applied to chastise such insolence, and his Grace of Glasgow, rather 
than dispute' the point, took the hint, and retired for the time upon a 
pension* 

No one of the worldly, ambitious, and detested prelates, possessed 
Aiher the esteem of the people, or the confidence of the government ; 
Leighton in these respects stood alone, and his pre-eminence pointed 
him out as the only fit person to fill the Arch-Episcopate Burnet had 
beeiL.forced to resign. ^^ It was easily found,^^ Sir George Mackenzie 
remarks, *^ that the Bishop of Dumblane was the most proper and fit 
person to senre the state in the chtu'ch according to the present plat- 
form of government now resolved upon ; for he was in much esteem 
for his piety and moderation among the people, and as to which the 
Presbyterians themselves could neither reproach nor equal him. Al- 
beit they hated him most of all his fraternity, in respect he drew many 
into a kindness for Episcopacy by his exemplary life, rather than de- 
bates. His great principle was, that devotion was the great afi*air 
about which churchmen should employ themselves, and that the gain- 
mg of souls, and not the external government, was their proper task ; 
ner did he esteem it fit, and scarce lawful to diurchmen to sit in coun- 
cib and judicatories, these being diversions from the main. And al- 
beit his judgement did lead him to believe the church of England the 

* Burnet nyi the wordi " Ecclesiastical matters" weie interpolated after Ldghton had 
seen the act ; bat this is a very lame justification, — the very title of the Bill implied them, 
and the whole Bill, not a very long one, asserts in the most unqualified manner the Ecdesias* 
tied wagKouuj of the Kingi fieightop*s easiness of temper is the only ezeussb 

C 



xxziv LIFE OF 

best modelled of all others, both for doctrine and discipline ; yet did 
he easily conform with the practice of the Christians amongst whom he 
lived, and therefore lived peaceably under Presbytery till it was abo- 
lished. And when he undertook to be a Bishop himself, he opposed all 
violent courses, whereby ipen were forced to comply with the present 
worship beyond their persuasions ; and he had granted a latitude 
and indulgence to those of^his own diocese, before the king had allow- 
ed any by his letter. This made the world believe that he was author 
to his majesty of that public indulgence, and the statesmen who 
were unwilling to be authors of an innovation, which some there thought 
might prove dangerous, were well satisfied to have it so believed;, but 
however these principles rendered him a fit instrument in their present 
undertaking.''' The Earls of Lauderdale and Tweedale therefore urg- 
ed him to accept the see, but he was strongly averse, and for some 
time so resolutely declined, that Gilbert Burnet, now Professor of Di- 
vinity in Glasgow, and all his friends, became exceedingly uneasy, and 
it was only the hope of being able to achieve an accommodation that 
at length induced him to consent to the proposal; though only to hold 
the see in commendam, that is, administer the aflfairs without being 
ordained to the office. 

As soon as he had agreed to accept, the king commanded his atten« 
dance at court, and on his way thither he called upon the Professor^ 
with whom he had a long consultation, but received poor encourage^ 
ment, for Burnet says, he told him that he expected little good, only 
he thought an accommodation not altogether impracticable. Upon 
his arrival in London, he found Lauderdale strangely altered in his 
temper, for having triumphed over all hb rivals, he was become fierce 
and intractable ; the scheme of accommodation was judged improper, 
and toleration by royal authority, was deemed the preferable mode for 
conciliating the country, and exalting his majesty^s prerogative. Yet 
the Archbishop's arguments prevailed with the king, and his plan, cor- 
rected by Sir George Murray, was turned into Instructions for Lauder- 
dale, the Lord High Commissioner, with authority to legalize all the 
concessions ; but from what afterwards appeared, there was every 
reason to believe, that Charles had, with his usual duplicity, given se- 
cret directions that the whole should be frustrated. 

Being fiilly occupied with his new charge, the Archbishop found it 
impracticable to attend the meeting of Dumblane synod this year, but 
he still was careful for their welfu'e, and sent them a truly pastoral 
letter : 

" Glasgow, April 6. I67I. — Reverend Brethren, The super- 
added burden that I have here, sits so heavy upon me, that I cannot 
escape from under it to be with you at this time, but my heart and 
designs shall be with you for a blessing from above upon your meet- 
ing. I have nothing to reconunend to you, but if you please to take 
a review of things formerly agreed upon, and such as you judge most 
useful, to renew the appointment of putting them in practice, and to 
add whatsoever farther shall occur to your thoughts that may pro- 
mote the happy discharge of your ministry, and the good of your peo- 



ARCHBISHOP LEIOHl'ON. xxzt 

pfe^B foulfl. I know I need not remind you, for I am confident you 
daily think of it, that the great principle of .fidelity and diligence, and 
good success in that great work, is love, and the great spring of love 
to souls, is love to him that bought them. He knew it well 
himself, and gave us to know it, when he said, " Simon, lovest thou 
me? feed my sheep, feed my lambs."" Deep impressions of his blessed 
name upon our hearts, will not &il to produce lively expressions of it, 
not only on our words and discourses in private and public, but will 
make the whole tract of our lives, to be a true copy and transcript of 
his holy life. And if there be within us any sparks of that divine love, 
yon know the best way not only to preserve tiiem, but to excite Ihem, 
to blow them up into a flame, as by the breath of prayer. Oh prayer ! 
the converse of the soul with God, the breath of God in man return- 
ing to its Original ; frequent and fiervent prayer, the better half of our 
whole work, and that which makes the other half lively and effectual ; 
as that holy company tells us, when appointing deacons to serve the 
tables, they add, ^^ But we will give ourselves continually to prayer 
and the ministry of the word.^ And is it not, brethren, an unspeakable 
advantage, beyond all the gainful and honourable employments of this 
world, that the whole work of our particuletr calling is a kind of living 
in heaven, and besides its tendency to the saving of the souls of others, 
is all along so proper, and adapted to the purifying and saving of 
our own ? But you will possibly say, What does he himself that 
speaks these things to us ? Alas ! I am ashamed to tell you. All I 
dare say is this, — I think I see the beauty of holiness, and am en- 
amoured with it, though I attain it not ; and how little soever I at- 
tain, would rather live and die in the pursuit of it, than in the pursuit, 
yea, or in the possession or enjoyment, though unpursued, of all the 
advantages that the world affords. And I trust, dear brethren, you 
are of the same opinion, and have the same desire and design, and fol- 
low it both more diligently, and with better success. But I will stop 
here, lest I should forget myself, and possibly run on till I have 
wearied you, if I have not done that already ; and yet if it be so, 
I shall hope for easy pardon at your hands, as of a fault I have not 
been accustomed to heretofore, nor am likely hereafter to commit. To 
the all-powerful grace of our great Lord and Master, I commend you 
and your flocks, and your whole works among them, and do earnestly 
entreat your prayers for your unworthiest, but most affectionate 
brother and servant, R. Leiohton.^^ 

He was not less anxious about the good conduct of the clergy in his 
new cha^e. He found the whole country filled with reports to their 
disadvantage, which, as we have seen by Burners account, were far 
firom being ill founded. The Archbishop therefore appointed a com- 
mittee, consisting, not of the members of his own synod alone, who 
irere too notorious themselves to be trusted with any such delicate 
task, but comprising those who stood fdirest in the Episcopal church, 
Mr Charters, Mr Nairn, and Mr Aird, to take cognizance of the com- 
plaints that might be lodged against them. So soon, however, as the 
eooncil were apprised of the measure, under pretext of countenancing 



xj.xvi LIFE or 

and assisting the committee in discharge of their dutf, they nominated 
Sir John Cochrane of Ochiltree, Sir Thomas Wallace, Sir John Cun- 
ninghame. Sir John Harper, the provosts of Glasgow and Air, to at- 
tend and act along with them, hut in reality to prevent too rigid an 
exercise of discipline, for they knew the west country curates coiild not 
bear even the mild inspection of Leighton ; and the consequence was, 
that the good intentions of the Archbishop were rendered almost en- 
tirely abortive. 

The committee met in September, when the parishioners were in- 
vited to lodge their complaints, but their first acts went to narrow as 
much as possible the avenues to redress ; they required, that whoever 
did not fully substantiate by legal proof any complaint he brought 
forward against a minister, should stand before the congregation cloth- 
ed in sackcloth as a slanderer. This effectually prevented many, who 
were aware of the difficulty of proving what they knew to be true, 
from coming forward ; but there were some cases so flagrant, that the 
curates rather preferred to take a little money and retire, than stand 
trial, with all these advantages ; of the accusations that came before 
them the result was,— one deposed, and four removed to other charges; 
what the crimes were that they visited thus heavily, we are not in- 
formed, but if we may judge from one case which they dismissed 
without reproof, they were no trifles. 

It is thus recorded by Kirkton, who was no friend to Leighton, and 
reflects not more discredit on the unworthiness of the committee, than 
on the honest zeal of Leighton. — <* One JefFray, curat of Maybole, 
sometime before alleadged he hade been assaulted for his life by his 
parishioners, and this he proved by producing a book, which hade been 
contused by a pistoll ball, and this book he alleadged hade saved his 
life ; for he said he hade it upon his breast, betwix his uppercoat and 
hiB doublet, but his uppercoat was neither pierced nor contused. How- 
ever he brought his complaint against his people, before the committee 
that sat at Air about that time. This he did in hopes to get his paroch 
fyned in 100 lib. English, and the money to himself; but because he 
not only failed in his evidence, but by the circumstance of the action 
made edl Scotland say he hade contused the book with his own pistoll, 
no money he got, but the hatred of the people. These thinking they 
may now have justice before this goodly purgeing committee, accuse 
him there, and prove him guilty of many gross scandals, such as swear- 
ing, strikeing, fighting and drunkenness, notwithstanding all which, 
the committee absolved him, which made Leighton so much ashamed, 
that out of the plenitude of his power, he thought fit to forbid him the 
exercise of his ministry.''^ 

For some time Leighton continued to reside partly at Dumblane, 
and partly at Glasgow, but being consecrated in the month of October, 
he took full possession of the Archbishopric, and went to reside in the 
city of Glasgow. His predecessor had used every violent method to 
force the people to attend the ministrations of the vile, immoral, and 
illiterate crew of curates who filled the pulpits in the west, and when 
the soldiers left his diocese, lamented that they had carried the Gospel 



ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON. nzril 

along with them ! He pioceeded upon a very different plan. Soon 
after his settlement he held a synod of his clergy. As was to be expect- 
ed, their churches were deserted, and themselves despised ; and never 
considering that their own (conduct, and want of ministerial talents, 
were the true reasons of their being treated with contempt by a well- 
informed and a religious people, they had expected that their new 
Right Reverend Father would, like the former, collect their scattered 
flocks by the aid of military evangelists : — He preached to them, and 
in his discourses, both public and private, exhorted them to look up 
more to God, to consider themselves as the ministers of the cross of 
Christ, to bear the contempt and ill usage they met with, as a cross 
laid on them for the exercise of their feith and patience ; to lay aside 
all the appetites of revenge, to humble themselves before God, to have 
many days for frequent fasting and prayer, and to meet often together, 
that they might quicken and assist one another in these holy exercises, 
and then they might expect blessings from heaven upon their labours : 
*« This (adds Burnet,) was a new strain to the clergy, — ^they had no- 
thing to say against it» but it was a comfortless doctrine to them !^^ 
There was no quartering of soldiers, and no levying of fines, — ^so 
they went home as little edified with their new Bishop, as he was 
with them. 

Grieved at the low state of his Episcopal clergy, the good man 
looked with an eye of longing regard to his former esteemed and pious 
co-presbyten, jmd visited several of the indulged ministers, for the pur- 
pose of persuading tbem to listen to propositions of peace, but he found 
the tmtii of Solomon^s observation, that ^* a brother offended is harder 
to be won than a strong city, and their contentions are like the bars 
of a castle.'*' He told them that some of their number would quickly 
be sent for to Edinburgh^ where conciliatory terms would be offered 
them, — that they would be met in sincerity, and without artifice, and 
if they in return would cordially acquiesce, the Concessions would be 
turned into laws, and all the vacancies would be filled up with their bre- 
thren. The ministers who had suffered severely, and were well acquaint- 
ed with the character of the Scottish rulers, both civil and ecclesias- 
tical, whose whole conduct towards them had been an uniform system 
of oppression and deceit, received the Archbishop's communications 
with great coolness ; they suspected the proffer to be, what we now 
know it to have been, upon the part of government, a snare to entrap 
and to divide them; and they answered with prudent caution, that it 
was a matter of general concern to the whole body, in which they as 
individuals could do nothing. 

Although it might have been anticipated, yet the reception he met 
with grieved and discouraged I^eighton, who began to lose heart in a 
negociation where he had to struggle with so many difficulties, tyranny 
and insincerity on the part of the government, and well-grounded sus- 
picion and conscientious scruples on the part of the sufferers. He did 
not however give up his endeavours ; with him it was a labour of love, 
and however much mistaken in his views, he was without doubt sin- 
cerely aiming at the blessing pronounced on the peace-makers. At his 



L 



SXXTiii LIFE OF 

request, Lauderdale wrote to some of the most eminent of the indulged 
ministers in his diocese, among whom were Mr Hutchison, Mr Wed- 
derburn, and Mr Baird, requiring them to attend a conference before 
himself, Tweedale, and Kincardine, at Edinburgh, August 9. I67O. 
Sharpe would not appear, but Patterson (afterwards Archbifthop of 
Glasgow) was present along with Leighton : — ^the latter opened the 
business by deploring the divisions that prevailed among them, and the 
mischief they had done ; that souls were perishing while they were 
contending about matters of infinitely less importance, and entreated 
them to do each what lay in his power to heal so disastrous a breach : 
for hb own part he was convinced, that from the days of the apostles, 
there always existed an order of bishops superior to presbyters in the 
church, and that complete equality amone clergymen had never been 
heard of till the middle of the last century, when it was introduced 
rather by accident than design ; yet in the proposition he had to make, 
he would not insist upon this, — ^by his plan they would not be requir- 
ed to surrender their opinions on that point, while they might unite 
in preaching the Gospel, and carrying on all the ends of their minis- 
try. They had moderators among them, which was no divine institu- 
tion, but only a matter of order, the King therefore might name them ; 
and making them constant, was certainly no such encroachment on 
their rights, as should break the peace of the church ; nor did blessing 
them with imposition of hands, when they entered upon their office, 
imply, any invalidity in their former ordination, — they were still mU 
nisters. Some imagined that a new authority was conferred, but they 
would be required to submit to nothing more, than to their presidency, 
and even as to that would be allowed to exonerate themselves, by pro* 
testing as formally and publicly as they chose. — Hutchison replied: — 
he said their opinion respecting a parity among ministers, was well 
known, — that the Presidency now proposed, had formerly served to 
. introduce a lordly dominion in the Church, and however inconsider- 
able their present pretensions might be, they would serve to pave the 
way for future higherdemands, and therefore requested time to consider 
and consult with his brethren. 

A second meetbg was accordingly appointed in November, when the 
whole dined together by the Lord High Commissioner Lauderdale's 
invitation. After dinner his Lordship joined them, in hopes that his 
presence might awe the parties into mutual concession ; but when he 
found that the Presbyterians were not prepared to surrender their 
principles, he was with difficulty restrained from bursting out into one 
of his outrageous (its of passion, by whichhehadlatterlybe^ accustomed 
to overawe his political adversaries. Leighton, who knew how vain it 
would be, persuaded him to rest quietly, and hear the ministers^ objec- 
tions. They were the same as stated at the former meeting, in which . 
they had been confirmed by reflection and intercourse with the other 
Presbyterians, who all coincided in opinion, that the accommo- 
dation was merely a scheme to lull their vigilance asleep, and render 
them subservient to the triumphant establishment of Episcopacy, when 
the present supporters of Presbyterianism should be laid in the grave. 



ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON. *xxni 

Thus the conference ended without being productive of any adv&A* 
tage to the Archbishop'^B wished-for conciliation, — ^but the presbyterians 
were not tiie only enemies to an adjustment, although perhaps the 
only conscientious ones. Sharpe was violently against the accommo** 
dation. Episcopacy, he exclaimed, was undermined; and the inferior 
d^gyy Burnet tells us, hated the whole thing, << for they thought, if the 
Presbyterians were admitted into churches, they WQuld be neglected.*** 

When the conference ended, Leighton did not despair ; he knew the 
aversion the people had to come to any terms with the profligate clergy 
of a persecuting church, and he also knew the influence which their 
decided opinions in this matter had upon the ministers. He therefore 
adopted another method for attaining his darling object, and endeavour- 
ed to engage them upon his side ; he could get no assistance from his 
own diocese. ^^ The Episcopal clergy in the west could not arg^e 
much for any thing, a^d would not at all argue in favour of a pro- 
position they hated ;^' but he employed six divines of that persuasion} 
of a higher character, and from a different quarter, — Messrs. Burnet, 
Charters, Nairn, Aird, Cook, and Paterson, to perambulate the country, 
preach in the vacant churches, and explain to their hearers the grounds 
of the accommodation. They were tolerably, not numerously attended, 
and they had little success in the object of their mission; tjiey had to 
do with a people who understood the subject, and who seem to have 
astonished the Episcopalians. ^^ We were indeed amazed to see a poor 
commonalty,^ says one of their number, ^^ so capable to argue upon 
points of government, andon the bounds to be set to the power of princes 
in matters of religion ; upon all these topics they had texts of scripture 
at hand, and were ready with their answers to any thing that was said 
to them. This measure of knowledge was spread even among the 
meanest of them, their cottagers and their servants. They were in- 
deed vain of their knowledge, much conceited of themselves, and were 
full of a most entangled scrupulosity, so that they found and made dif« 
ficulties to every thing that could be laid before them.**^ 

Another attempt was yet again made by Leighton for.accommoda* 
tion. But at the very moment when he was holding out proffers of 
friendship, the parliament were enacting statutes of blood I Can it be 
at all wonderful in such a case, that the negociations terminated un- 
fortunately? His opponents knew, that however they might be disposed 
to trust him, not the smallest confidence could be placed in his asso- 
ciates. They notri'ithstanding met him, first at Paisley, where twenty- 
six or thirty Presbyterian ministers were present. There some small 
alteration was made in his overtures, but Messrs. Hutchison, Wedder- 
bum, Baird, and their companions, still perceived the horns of the mitre, 
and, with the old fathers of Presbytery, refused to accept them, even 
when " busket ever sae bonnily.*" 

Two meetings upon the 11th and 26th January 1671j at Holyrood- 
house, closed the conferences. In one of these Leighton offered to dis- 
pute for Episcopacy against Presbytery ; but this being illegal, and 
what might have subjected his opponent to a capital punishment, Mr 
Hutchison refused. On which Burnet, who was present, appearing to 
triumph, Mr Wedderbum declared he would accept the challenge, if 



zl LIFJS OF 

the Lord Chancellor would authorize him ; but his Lordship declining, 
no more was said upon the subject. 

Finding all hb endeavours to promote peace and concord ineflectual, 
and his plans either thwarted, or at least not seconded by those from 
whom he might have expected support, he resolved, as infirmities were 
beginning to threaten him, to retire from a field i.i which there was 
no prospect of usefulness. He was suspected by the high Episcopalian 
party, and had no influence with the Presbyterians ; and in reply to 
the arguments of Burnet for his continuing in that station, he said, 
^ his work seemed to be at an end ; he had no more to do, unless he 
had a mind to please himself with the lazy enjoying a good revenue.'*' 
A mode of spending the residue of life very different from what he 
contemplated. ** Our joint business,'^ said he in a letter to his sister, ap- 
parently written about this time, " is to die daily to this world and 
self, that what little remains of our life, we may live to him that died 
for us. For myself, to what purpose is it to tell you, what the bearer 
can, that I grow old and sickly, and though I have here great retire- 
ment, as great, and probably greater than I could readily find any 
where else, yet I am still panting after a retreat from this place, and 
all public charge, and next to rest in the grave. It is the pressingest 
desire I have of any thing I have in this world, that I might be with 
you or near you. But our heavenly Father, we quietly resigning all 
to him, both knows and will do what is best.**^ This letter is dated 
from Di .nblane, to which place he delighted to resort during the in- 
tervals 1 f his Archiepiscopal labours, and whence he wrote the follow- 
ing admirable pastoral letter to his synod. — " Reverend Brethren, 
It is neither a matter of much importance, nor can I yet give you 
a particular an ^ satisfying account of the reasons of my absence from 
your meeting, which, I trust, with the help of a little time, will clear 
itself : Put, I can assure you, I am present with you in my most af- 
fectionate wishes of the gracious presence of that Holy Spirit amongst 
you, and within you all, who alone can make this and all your meet- 
ings, and the whole work of your ministry, happy and successful, to 
the good of souls, and His glory that bought them with his own blood. 
And I doubt not that your own great desire, each for yourself, and all 
for one another, is the same ; and that your daily and great employ- 
ment is, by incessant and fervent prayer, to draw down from above 
large supplies and increases of that blessed Spirit, which our Lord and 
Master hath assured us thtit our heavenly Father will not fail to give 
to them that ask it. And how extreme a negligence and folly were it 
to want so rich a gift for want of asking, especially in those devoted 
to so high and holy a service, that requires so groat degrees of that 
spirit of holiness and divine love to purify their minds, and to raise 
them above their senses and this present world ! Oh ! my dear Bre- 
thren, what are we doing, that suffer our souls to creep and grovel on 
this earth, and do so little aspire to the heavenly life of Christians, and 
more eminently of the messengers and ministers of God, as stars, yea, 
as angels, which he hafh made sjnrits, and his ministers ajlame of 
fire ! Oh ! where are souls to be found amongst us, that represent their 
own original, that are possessed with pure and sublime apprehensions 



ARCHBISHOP LSIOHTON. lU 

of God, the Father of Spirits, and are ofken raised to the astonishing 
contemplation of his eternal and blessed being, and his infinite holi- 
ness, and greatness, and goodness ; and are accordingly burnt up with 
ardent love ! And where that holy fire is wanting, there can be no sa- 
crifice, whatsoever our invention, or utterance, or gifts may be, and 
how blameless soever the externals of our life may be, and even our 
hearts free from gross pollutions; for it is scarce to be su^ected, tbat 
any of us will sufier any of those strange, yea, infernal fires of ambi- 
tion, or avarice, or malice, or impure lusts and sensualities, to bum 
within us, which would render us priests of idols, of airy nothings, 
and of dunghill gods, yea, of the very god of the worlds the prince of 
darkness. Let men judge us and revile us as^they please, that im- 
ports nothing at all ; but God forbid any thing should possess our 
hearts but He that loved us, and gave himself for us ; for we know 
we cannot be vessels of honour meet for the Master's tise^ unless we 
purge ourselves from all Jilthiness offiesh and spirit^ and empty our 
hearts of all things beside him, and even of ourselves and our own will, 
and have no more any desires nor delights, but his will alone, and his 
glory, who is our peace, and our life, and our all. And, truly, I think 
it were our best and wisest reflection, upon the many difiiculties and 
discouragements without us, to be driven by them to live more within ; 
as they observe of the bees, that when it is foul weather abroad, they 
are busy in their hives. If the power of external discipline be ener- 
vated in our hands, yet who can hinder us to try, and judge, and c*en- 
sure ourselves ; and to purge the inner temples, our own hearts, with 
the more severity and exactness ? And if we be dashed and bespatter- 
ed with reproaches abroad, to study to be the cleaner at home : And 
the less we find of meekness and charity in the world about us, to pre- 
serve BO much the more of that sweet temper within our own hearts ; 
blessing them that curse us^ and praying for them that persecute us; 
so shall we most effectually prove ourselves to he the children of our 
heavenly Father^ even to their conviction, that will scarce allow us, 
in any sense, to be called his servants, 

^^ As for the confusions and contentions that still abound and increase 
in this Church, and threaten to undo it, I think our wisdom shall be, 
to cease from man^ and look for no help till we look more upwards, 
and dispute and discourse less, and fast and pray more ; and so draw 
down our relief from the God of order and peace, who made the hea- 
vens and the earth. 

<' Concerning myself, I have nothing to say, but humbly to entreat 
you to pass by the many failings and weaknesses you may have per- 
ceived in me during my abode amongst you ; and if in any thing I 
have injured or. ofiended you, or any of you, in the management of 
my public charge, or in private converse, I do sincerely beg your par- 
don : Though, I confess, I cannot make any requital in that kind ; 
for I do not know of any thing towards me, from any of you, that 
deeds a pardon in the least ; having generally paid me more kindness 
and respect, than a much better or wiser man could either have ex- 
pected or deserved. No»' am I only a suitor for your pardon, but for 



kUi LIFE OF 

the addition of a fiirdier charity, and that so great a one, that I have 
nothing to plead for it, but that I need it much — yonr prayers. And 
I am hopeful as to that, to make you some little, though very dispro^ 
portioned return ; for whatsoever becomes of me, (through the help of 
God), while I live, you shall no one day of my life be forgotten by» 
Your most unworthy, but most affectionate, Brother and Servant^ 
R. Leighton. 

^<P. S. I do not see whom it can offend, orhow any shall disapprove of 
it, if you will appoint a fast throughout your bounds, to entreat a hlemh 
ing on the seed committed to the ground, and for the other grave causes 
that are still the same they were the last year, and the urgency of them 
no whit abated, but rather increased : but in this I prescribe nothing, 
but leave it to your discretion and the direction of 6od/^ 

He had found Lauderdale extremely unwillmg to accept of hb rfr* 
signation, as that nobleman knew well the value of such a character 
for supporting the already almost hopeless hierarchy in Scotland ; he 
therefore, in summer 1673» repaired to London, and tendered it per- 
sonally to the King. Charles, too, was averse to his retirement, but 
the Archbishop was resolute, and his Majesty agreed, that if he would 
continue another year upon trial, he should then be allowed to resign, 
if still of the same mind. He returned rejoicing with the roy^il engage- 
ment in writing, and observed to Dr Burnet, ^< that there was now 
but one uneasy stage between him and rest, and he would wrestle 
through it the best he could/^ His professional duties were performed 
with his usual zeal and assiduity during the appointed time, at the 
close of which he hastened to London, and cheerfully laid down his 
high office, which some changes in the aspect of the political affairs im 
Scotland, occasioned to be received without more difficulty. 

Various reports were spread at the time respecting this transaction, 
but there is no reason to suppose that the causes were other than 
those which he has himself left on record. They have been preserved 
in MS. in the University of Edinburgh, and are as follow : 

*< Whatsoever others may judge that they know what past before my 
engaging in the charge, will not, I believe, impute my retreat from it, 
to levitie or imfixedness of mind, considering how often I declared be>- 
fore-hand, both by word and write, the great suspicion I had that my 
continuance in it would be very short, neither is it from any sudden 
passion or sullen discontent, that I have now resigned it, nor do I know 
any cause imaginable for any such thing, — but the true resusons of my 
retiring are plainly and briefly these : Isty The sense I have of the 
dreadfiil weight of whatsoever r^ards the charge of souls ; and all 
kind of spiritual inspection over people, but much more over ministers, 
and withal of my own extreme unworthiness, and unfitness for so high 
a station in the church ; and there is an Episcopal act that is above 
all the rest most formidable to me, the ordaining of ministers. 2dy The 
continuing and deeply increasing divisions and contentions, and many 
other disorders of this church, and the little or no appearance of their 
cure for our time, and the little hope amidst these contentions and dis* 
orders, of doing any thing in this station to promote the great design of 



ARCHBISHOP LEIOHTON. xliU 

Tdigion in the hearts and lives of men, which were the only worthy rea- 
son of continuing in it, though it were with much pains and reluctance. 
3d, The earnest desire I have long had of a retired and private life, 
which is now much increased hy sicklyness and old age drawing on, 
and the sufficient experience I have had of the folly and vanity of the 
world. 

" To add any further discourse, a large apology in this matter were to 
no purpose, hut,in8teadofremovingother mistakes and misconstructions, 
would he apt to expose me to one more ; for it would look like too 
much valuing, either of myself or of the world^a opinion, both of which 
I think I have so much reason to despise.'*^ 

After he had retired fnHn public life, he spent some time in a fare- 
well visit to the University of Edinburgh, and the suljoined letters 
accord with the feelings one^oves to indulge in visiting, for the last 
time, scenes in which the most active years of life have passed. The 
first is to Mr Lightwater, his sisters husband, on the death of a belov* 
ed child, — the other to a lady labouring under mental distress, but 
to whom he was personally unknown. 

'<I am glad of your health, and the recovery of your little ones ; but 
indeed it was a sharp stroke of a pen that told me your little Johnny 
was dead, and I felt it truly more, than to my remembrance I did the 
death of any child in my life-time. Sweet thing, and is he so quickly 
laid to sleep ? Happy he I Though we shall no more have the plea- 
sure of his lisping and laughing, he shall have no more the pain of crying, 
nor of being sick, nor of dying, and hath wholly escaped the trouble of 
schooling and all the sufferings of boys, and the riper and deeper griefs 
of upper years, this poor life being all along, nothing but a linked chain 
ofmanysorrowsandofmany deaths. Tellmydearsistersheisnowsomuch 
more akin to the other world ; and this will quickly be passed to us alL 
John is but gone anhour or twosooner to bed as children used to do, and 
we are undressing to follow. And the more we put off the love of the 
{Nresent world and all things superfluous beforehand, we shall have the 
less to do when we lie down. It shall refresh me to hear from you at your 
leisure. — Sir, your affectionate brother, — R. Leiohton.^ 

** Madam, — Though I have not the honour to be acquainted with 
your Ladyship, yet a friend of yours has acquainted me with your 
condition, though I confess the unfittest of all men. He could have 
imparted such a thing to none of greater secrecy, and withal of greater 
sympathy and tender compassion, towards such as are exercised with 
those kinds of conflicts ; as having been formerly acquainted with the 
like myself, all sorts of sceptical and doubtful thoughts, touching those 
great points, having not only past tlu'ough my head, but some of them 
have for some time sat more fast and painfully upon my mind ; but in 
the name of the Lord they were at length quite dispelled and scattered. 
And Oh ! that I could love and bless Him, who is my deliverer and 
strength, my rock .and fortress, where I have now found safety from 
these incursions ; and I am very confident you shall shortly find th^ 
same. Only wait patiently on the Lord, and hope in him, for you 
shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance ; and it is that 



xlif ' LIPB OF 

alone that can enlighten you, and clear your mind of all those f<^ and 
mists that now possess it, and calm the storms that are raised within it. 
You do well to read good books that are proper for your help, but rather 
the shortest and plainest, than the more tedious and voluminous, that 
sometimes entangle a perplexed mind yet more, by grasping many more 
questions, and answers, and arguments, than is needful ; but, above all, 
still cleave to the incomparable spring of light and divine comfort, the 
Holy Scriptures, even in spite of all doubts concerning them. And when 
you find your thoughts in disorder and at a loss, entertain no dispute with 
them by any means at that time, but rather divert from them to short 
prayer, or to other thoughts, and sometimes well chosen company, or 
the best you can have where you are ; and at some other time, when 
you find yourself in a calmer and serener temper, and upon the vantage 
ground of a little more confidence in God, then you may resume your 
reasons against unbelief, yet so as to beware of casting yourself into 
new disturbance. For when your mind is in a sober temper, there is 
nothing so suitable to its strongest reason, nothing so wise and noble as 
religion ; and to believe it is so rational, that, as now I am framed, I 
am afraid that my belief proceeds too much from reason, and is not so 
divine and spiritual as I would have it ; only when I find (as in some 
measure, through the grace of God, I do) that it hath some real virtue 
and influence upon my afFections and track of life, I hope there is some- 
what of a higher tincture in it. But, in point of reason, I am well 
assured, that all I have heard from the wittiest atheists and libertines 
in the world, is nothing but bold ravery and madness, and their whole 
discourse a heap of folly and ridiculous nonsense. For what probable 
account can they give of the wonderful frame of the visible \vorId, 
without the supposition of an eternal and infinite power, and wisdom, 
and goodness, that formed it, and themselves, and all things in it ? And 
what can they think of the many thousands of martyrs in the first age 
of Christianity, that endured not simple death, but all the inventions 
of the most exquisite tortures, for their belief of that most holy fiatith^ 
which, if the miracles that confirmed it had not persuaded them so, they 
themselves had been thought the most prodigious miracles of madness in 
all the world P It is not want of reason on the side of religion that makes 
fools disbelieve it, but the interest of their brutish lusts anddissolutelives 
makes them wish it were not true : and there is this vast difference be- 
twixt you and them ; they would gladly believe less than they do, and 
you would also gladly believe more than they do : they are sometimes 
pained and tormented with apprehensions that the doctrine of religion is 
or may be true ; and you are perplexed with suggestions to doubt of it, 
which are to you as unwilling and unwelcome as these apprehensions of 
its truth are to them. Believe it. Madam, these different thoughts of 
yours are not yours, but his that inserts them, and throws them as fiery 
darts into your mind, and they shall assuredly be laid to his charge, 
and not to yours. Think not that infinite goodness is ready to take 
advantage of his poor creatures, and to reject and condemn those that, 
against all the assaults made upon them, desire to keep their heart for 
him, and to acknowledge hiob and to love him, and live to him. He 



ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON. sir 

made ii8, and knows our mould, and as a father pities his children, pities 
them that fear him : for he is their father, and the tenderest and kind- 
est of all &thers ; and as a father pities his child when it is sick, and 
in the rage and r^very of a fever, though it even utter reproachful 
words against himself, shall not our dearest Father both forgive and 
pity those thoughts in any child of his, that arise, not from any wilful 
hatred of him, but are kindled in hell within them ? And no tempta« 
tion hath befallen you in this, but that which has been incident to men, 
and to the best of men ; and their heavenly Father hath not only for- 
given them, but in due time hath given them an happy issue out of 
them ; and so he will assuredly do to you. In the meantime, when 
these assaults come thickest and violentest upon you, throw yourself 
down at his footstool, and say, ^^ O God, Father of mercies, save me 
from this hell within me. I acknowledge, I adore, I bless thee, whose 
throne is in heaven, with thy blessed Son and crucified Jesus, and thy 
Holy Spirit ; and also, though thou slay me, yet will I trust in thee ; 
but I cannot think thou canst hate and reject a poor soul that desires 
to love thee, and cleave to thee, so long as I can hold by the skirts of 
thy garment until thou violently shake me oiF ; M'hich I am confident 
thou wouldst not do, because thou art love and goodness thyself, and 
thy mercies endure for ever.**' Thus, or in what other frame your soul 
shall be carried to vent itself into bis bosom, be assured your words, 
yea, your silent sighs and breathings, shall not be lost ; but shall have 
a most powerful voice, and ascend into his ear, and shall return to you 
with messages of peace and love in due time ; and, in the meantime, 
with secret supports, that you faint not, nor sink in these deeps that 
threaten to swallow you up. But I have wearied you, instead of re* 
freshing you. I will add no more, but that the poor prayers of one 
of the unworthiest caiiiils in the world, such as Ihey be, shall not be 
wanting on your behalf, and he begs a share in yours ; for neither he, 
nor any in the world, need that charity more than he does. Wait on 
the Lord, and be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart ; 
wait, I say, on the Lord.^* 

Finally retired from public life, he removed, after a short stay in 
Edinburgh, to Broadhurst in Sussex, an estate belonging to Mr Light- 
water, his sister^s husband, and with these dear relations he remained 
till within a short period of his decease. Little is recorded of these 
years, and it would be in vain to fill with conjectural speculations, a 
space of which we are only told, that it was occupied with deeds of 
charity and labours of love ; that he preached frequently in the pulpits 
to which he had access, and that here, as in all his other abodes, the 
poor and the ignorant were the objects of his peculiar care. The 
serene tenor of his course was however once interrupted by an unex- 
pected call from the king to resume his high functions in Scotland. 
The extreme of persecution having been tried in that country, only pro- 
duced its usual and natural effects, the people became more exasperated 
against a church to which they were thus attempted to be dragooned* 

* Jennent^s Life of Leighton and Works, ?oL 11, p. 468. 



xlvi LIFE OF 

And the Duke of MonmouA, who had witnessed the unfeeling tyranny 
of the prelates, and the unmitigated misery of the people, during his 
residence there, influenced hotli hy compassion and political motives, 
made an effort to introduce milder measures ; and the consequence was 
the following letter from Charles : — •* Windsor, July 16. 1679. Mt 
Lord, — I am resolved to try what clemency can prevail upon such 
in Scotland as will not conform to the government of the church there ; 
&r effecting of which design, I desire that you may ^o down to Scot- 
land with your first conveniency, and take all possible pains for per« 
suading all you can, of both opinions, to as much mutual correspon- 
dence and concord as may be; and send me, from time to time, 
characters both of men and things. In order to this design, I shall 
send you a precept for two hundred pounds Sterling upon my exchequer, 
till you resolve how to serve me in a stated employment. — ^Your lov- 
ing friend, — Charles R. — jPor the Bishop of Dunblane?^ But 
the power of Monmouth declining shortly after, the proposition fell 
to the ground, deliverance came to the presbyterians from another 
quarter, and the venerable Bishop was left quietly to pursue the method 
of life that he loved, to meditate upon eternity, and to prepare for it. 
The scriptures were daily the men of his council, and the book of Psalms 
was especially a portion which he perused with delight himself, and re- 
commended to others. The Sabbath was his delight, and no slight hind- 
rance could detain him from the house of prayer. Upon one occasion, 
when he was indisposed, the day being stormy, his friends urged him, 
on account of his health, not to venture to church: ^* Were the weather 
tsivt^ was the reply, ^' I would stay at home, but since it is otherwise, 
I must go, lest I*be thought to countenance by my example the irreli- 
gious practice of allowing trivial hindrances to keep me back from 
public worship.^' Bftt perhaps the highest eulogium that can be passed 
on the uniform holiness of his character, is the effect that it had on 
his brother-in-law, who upon daily beholding it exclaimed, ** If none 
shall go to heaven but so holy a man as this, what will become of me ?^ 
and became so deeply impressed with a sense of the importance of 
pressing forward unto perfection, that he relinquished a profitable busi- 
ness, lest it should too much entangle him, and devoted his remaning 
years to the care of his soul. 

In 1684 Leighton was induced to come to London upon a visit 
of mercy. Lord Perth, who had participated in all the atrocities 
of the times, arrived in the English capital to be invested with 
the office of Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, and whether from 
some temporary compunctious feeling or some pretensions to it, had 
earnestly requested Burnet to procure him an interview : " I 
thought,"" says the Bishop,* ^< that angelic man might have awaken* 
ed in him some of those good principles which he seemed once to have, 
and which were now totSly extinguished in him ;"' and at his urgent 
desire Leighton came to London. «< I was amazed to see him,**" con- 
tinues Burnet, *^ at about seventy, look so fresh and well, that age 

■ Hiftory of his Own Timei; Addo 1684. 



ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON. zlvii 

seemed as it might stand still with him ; his hair was still black, and 
all his motions were lively : he had the same quickness of thought and 
strength of memory, but above all, the same heat and life of devotion, 
that I had ever seen in him. When I took notice to him upon my 
first seeing him, how well he looked, he told me he was near his end 
for all that, and his work and journey both were now almost done. 
This at that time made an impression on me. He was the next day 
taken with an oppression, and as it seemed with a cold and with stitches, 
which was indeed a pleurisy. The [day after] Leighton simk so that 
both speech and sense went away of a sudden, and he continued pant- 
ing about twelve hours, and then died without pangs or convulsions. 
I was by him all the while. Thus I lost him who for so many years 
had been the chief guide of my whole life.*" He died in the seventy-fourth 
year of his age, and was interred at Horsted Keynes, where his brother 
Sir Ellis had been buried only a short time before; an unosten- 
tatious inscription marks the place where his dust rests in hope. — ^De- 
poritum, Robert Leightounj Archiepiscopi Glasguensis apud Scotos, qui 
objt XXV die Junij Anno Dmj 1684, ^E tat is suae 7^. 

Two remarkable circumstances attended his death. He used often 
to say, (hat if he were to choose a place to die in, it should be an inn, 
it looking so like a pilgrim^s going home, to whom this world was all 
BE an inn. It was his opinion also, that the officious tenderness and 
care of friends, was an entanglement to a dying man, and that the un« 
concerned attoadance of those who could be procured in such a place, 
would give less disturbance :— this wish was granted, it was at the 
Bell Inn, Warwick-lane, where he expired. Another was, that while 
Bishop in Scotland, he never harassed his people for his stipend, small 
as it was, not above L.ldO per annum at Dunblane, and only about 
Li. 400 at Glai^ow, but generally took what they were pleased to pay, 
by which means considerable arrears were due when he left, and the 
last remittance which he had reason to expect, arrived about six weeks 
before his death. His will, which had been written a short time before, 
shows however, that although not rich, he yet had something to leave,— « 
it is subjoined. ^^ At Bboadhubst, Feb. VJ. 1683. — Being at present 
(thanks be to God) in my accustomed health of body, and soundness 
of mind and memory, I do write this with my own hand, to signify, 
that when the day I so much wished and longed for is come, that shall 
set me free from this prison of clay wherein I am lodged, what I leave 
behind me of money, goods or chattels, or whatsoever of any kind was 
called mine, I do devote to charitable uses'; partly such as I have re- 
commended particularly to my sister, Mrs Sapphira Lightwater, and 
her son. Master Edward Lightwater of Broadhurst, and the remainder 
to such other charities as thdr own discretion shall think fittest. Only, 
I desire each of them to accept of a small token of a little grateful ac- 
knowledgement of the great kindness and trouble th^ have had with 
me for some years that I was their guest, the proportion whereof (to 
remove their scruple of taking it) I did expressly name to themselves, 
while I was with them, before the writing hereof, and likewise after I 
have wrote it. But they need not give any account of it to another^ 



ilviU LFE OF 

the whole being left to their disposal. Neither, I hope, will any other 
friends or relations of mine take it unkind that I bequeath no legacy to 
any of them, designing, as is said, so entirely to charity the whole re- 
mains. Only, my books I leave and bequeath to the Cathedral of 
Dunblane in Scotland, to remain there for the use of the clergy of that 
diocese. I think I need no more, but that I appoint my said sister, 
Mrs Sapphira Lightwater of Broadhurst, and her son, Master Edward 
Lightwater, joint executors of this my will, — if they be both living at 
my decease, as I hope they shall ; or if that one of them shall be sur- 
viving, that one is to be the sole executor of it. I hope none will 
raise any question or doubt about this upon any omission, or any in- 
formality of expression in it ; being, for prevention thereof, as plainly 
expressed as it could be conceived by me. And this I declare to be 
the last Will and Testament of — Robert Leighton." 

But his liberality was not deferred till he could no longer hold a grasp 
of his money. He allotted every penny beyond what was barely neces- 
sary for his personal expenses, to pious and benevolent purposes. When 
principal of Edinburgh University, he founded a bursary, and for that 
purpose gave L. 150 to the city : when at Glasgow he allotted to the 
poor of Dumblane, a considerable sum due to him by a gentleman in 
that place; he appropriated L. 300 for three bursaries in Glasgow Uni- 
versity, and as much for maintaining four old men in St. Nicholas 
Hospital. During his retirement in Sussex, " he distributed," says 
Dr Burnet, ^^ all he had in charities, choosing rather to give it through 
other people^s hands than his own : for I was his almoner in London.'*'* 
To enable him to be charitably, he was abstemious :«— his sister, we are 
told, once asked him to eat of some delicate dish ; he declined, saying, 
<^ What is it good for but to please a wanton taste,— one thing forborne 
is better than twenty taken.""^ But, asked his sister, why were these 
things bestowed upon us ? To see, he answered, how well we can for- 
bear them, — ^and then added, " Shall I eat of this delicacy while a poor 
man wants his dinner ?" The same sister, upon another occasion, ima- 
gining he carried indi£Perence to worldly things too far, remarked to him, 
" If you had a wife and children, you would not act thus.**' His reply 
was, " I know not how it would be, but I know how it should be,— 
Enoch walked with God, and begat sons and daughters.**^ Humility 
was one of the most distinguishing features of his character, of which 
many instances are given in the preceding pages, and so conspicuous- 
ly did it shine, that, in order to dim its lustre, his enemies were con- 
strained to doubt its reality, and describe it as affected ; but it was too 
unostentatious, too general, and too consistent to be false. Indeed, 
personal holiness was the main object of bis life, so much so, that when 
he heard of any changing their profession of religion, he would ask 
when they became holier ? 

His natural temper was singularly gentle and amiable, and en- 
deared him to all with whom he had any intercourse, and over- 
came in many of his opponents the prejudices his dereliction of 
their party inspired ; though in the latter part of his life, even from 
the partial statements of his pupU and friend, he does not seem to 



ARCHBISHOP LXIOHTON. xlii 

hrnvm beat grofttly tnanMNlrad of the duingi he had made. <* He 
lamented oft to me the etutPiditf that be obeirv«d among the eommiMtt 
of England, who seemed to be much more inBengible in matters of re- 
ligion dian llie commons of 6co4Und were. He retained still a pecu- 
liar inclination to Scotland, and if he had ieen any proepect of doing 
good there, he irould have gone, and lived, and died among them.** 
<< He looked on the state the church of England was in, iHth rery 
mdancholj leflections, and was Very uneasy at an ezpresrion then used, 
that it was the best constituted ehurdi in the world. He thought it 
was truly so with idation to the doctrine, the wonhip, and the main 
part of her goyemment But as to the administration, both with re^ 
lation as to the EcQlesiastical ooorts, and the pastoral care, he looked 
om it as one of the most corrupt he had evet seen. He thought W% 
looked like the fidr carcase of a body without a spirit, without that 
teal, that strictnesB of Jife| and that laboriousness in the clergy, that 
became us.^ His conversation is r^reeented as having been eminent 
ly heavenly and spiritual, <^ and he had brought himself,^ says the 
writer so often referred tcs ^^into so composed a gravity, that I nev^ 
saw him laugh, and but seldom smDe, and he kept himself in midi a 
constant recollection, that I do not remember that I ev» heard Uaii 
say one idle word.*^ Most probaUy the state of the country and tha 
church, tended greatly to produce this gendid solemnity of manner^ 
for he was deeply affected with public events* HoiV he coilld improve 
little incidents is well illustrated by an answer he made to a remiu^ of 
some of his firiolds, << You have been to hear a sermon.'" << I met a seN 
mon, a sefmon defmskkj far I met a corpse, and lijl^y' and profit** 
ably are &e faneral rites observed, iVhen tile living lay it to heart** 
Bishop Leq^ton*s stature was small, and his eountenance benignant. 
That he was slender, we learn fram an e^damation of hia^ when told 

that a corpulent person had died : << How is it that A has broke 

through these goodly brick walls, while I am kept in by a bit flimsy, 
deal T* He would never sit for his picture^ and the engravings we 
have of him, were done from one tAm. by stealth, but which Aoie 
who knew him pronounced to be not a bad likeness, though it did not 
do fiill justice to Ae mild expression of the original. 

It now only remains to notice his Aeological works. Their praise is 
in all the churches. Ejnscopalians, FVesl^terians^ and Independents, 
have all concurred to express theit high admiration of their unrivalled ex- 
cellence ; and without adventuring en the superfluous work of giving 
any lengthened opinion of my own, I subjoin the opinions of men weU 
qualified to judge. 

^^Peifaaps,^ saysMrOrme, << there isnoexpoeitory work in the Englidi 
language equal alt(^ether to the ejcpositicm of St Peter. It is ridi in 
evangelical sentiment and exalted devotion. The meaning is seldom 
missed, and often admirably illustrated. There is learning with- 
out its parade ; theol<^ divested of systematic stifihess ; and elo- 
quence in a beautiful flow of unaffidcted language and appropriate ima- 

d 



i LIFE OP 

fferjr. To say more would be unbecoming, and len could not b« 
said with justice.''^ — Orme's BibUotheca Biblica. 

• 

. ^< The modesty of Leighton was the more comely and ornamental, 
that it was joined to high intellectual capacity and attainments, and 
to the graces of elocution. His acquaintance with literature was vap^ 
rious and profound. Of a quick and capacious understanding ; of an 
elevated genius, and refined taste ; of a vigorous and elegant fancy ; 
of a retentive memory,-— he drank deep at the springs of knowledge, 
by close application, and almost incessant study. Our author had per- 
.used with care and delight the Roman and the Greek classics. His 
Latin would do honour to the Augustan age ; and is not inferior in 
' purity and strength to the style of the learned and polished Buchanan. 
The Hebrew was quite ^miliar to him, and he possessed a critical 
;knowledge of that concise and energetic tongue. He understood French 
well ; and could both speak and write the language with correctness 
and ease. He knew philosophy in the greater part of its branches ; 
•and had read with attention and profit, history sacred and profane, 
civil and ecclesiastical, ancient and modem. Divinity, however, was 
his principal study ; and he was truly a fnaster in Israel. Of the 
most of these rare and useful endowments his writings afibrd abundant 
and incontrovertible evidence. 

^^ Leighton used all his learning as an handmaid to religion, and em- 
ployed it in the service of the sanctuary. He derived Theological 
knowledge, ndt so much from human systems, as from the sacred 
4)racles ; and that knowledge received a mellowness from his own na^ 
tund and gracious placidity. At times, a Boanerges in sentiment ; he 
was usually, both in sentiment and style, a son of consolation. The 
.cotemporary bishops of the North, compared with him, were dwarfs 
•in mind, and wolves in disposition. There were bright constellations 
of divines, both in England and Scotland. But Leighton shone pre- 
-eroinent above the majority ; and was a star of the first magnitude. 
•AmoDgthe first preachers of his own day, he has never been surpassed, 
taking him all in all, since that period. More sententious than Rey- 
nolds, more refined than Howe, more eloquent than Baxter ; less diffuse 
and argumentative, but more practical than Chamock ; less profound, 
but clearer and more savoury than Owen ; less ingenious, but sweeter 
and more sublime than Hall, — ^he will not suffer by comparison with 
any divine, in any age." — Jermenfs Life of Leightan. 

" He was gifted with a capacious mind, a quick apprehension, a re- 
tentive memory, a lively fancy, a correct taste, a sound and discrimi- 
nating judgment. All these excellencies are conspicuous in almost every 
page of his writings ; for in Leighton's compositions there is an ex- 
traordinary evenness. One is not recruited here and (here, by a strik- 
ing thought or a brilliant sentence, from the fatigue of toiling through 
many a heavy paragraph, but " one spirit in them rules ;" and M'hile 
he occasionally mounts to a surpassing height, he seldom or never sinks 
into flatness. The reason is, that ho is always master of his subject. 



AKCHBI8H0P LEIQHTON. U 

.with a clear conception of hit own mining and jniipoeey and a perfect 
.oommand of all the subadiary materials ; and still more, that his soul 
is always teeming with those divine inspirations, which seem vouch- 
safed only from (ime to time to ordinary mortals. 

^^ Had the mind of Leighton been less exact and perspicacious, the 
rapid and multitudinous flow of his ideas would have rendered him a 
writer of more than common obscurity ; for he was impatient of those 
rules of art, by which theological compositions are usually confined. 
No man, indeed, was better acquainted with scholastic canons and dia- 
lectical artifices ; but he towered above them. At the same time his 
ai^ument never limps, although the form be not syllogistic,-*the cor- 
rectness of his mind preventing material deviation from a lucid and con- 
secutive order. There is a logical continuity of thought to be traced 
in his writings ; and his ideas, perhaps, may not be unaptly compared 
to flowers in a garden, so luxuriantly over-hanging trellises, as to ob- 
viate the primness and formality of straight lines, without howevef 
straying into a wantonness of confusion, that would perplex the ob- 
server's eye. 

' ** It 18 not to be denied, that a more scientific arrangement in Leigh- 
ton's compositions would have greatly assisted the memory of his read- 
ers : and let those who come short of him in intellectual power, beware 
of imitating his laxity of method. The rules of art, though cramps to 
vigour, are crutches to feebleness. My impression is, however, that 
the efliisions of our author^s mind, disposed more artificially, would 
have lost in richness what they gained in precision, and the gain would 
have been over-balanced by the loss. From the structure and flow of 
hb discourses, I should conjecture it to have been his custom, when he 
had determined to write on any subject, to ruminate on it till his mind 
had assumed a corresponding form and tone ; after which he poured 
forth his conceptions on paper without pause or effort, like the irre- 
pressible droppings of the loaded honeycomb. So imbued was his holy 
soul with the principles of the, gospel, or so completely, I might better 
say, was the whole scheme of revelation amalgamated in the menstruum 
of his powerful intellect, that whatever he wrote on sacred subjects 
came forth with an easy flow, clear, serene, and limpid. In all his 
compositions there is a delightful consistency ; nothing indigested and 
turbid ; no dissonances of thought, no jarring positions ; none of the 
fluctuations, the ambiguities, the contradictions which betray a penury 
of knowledge, or an imperfect assimilation of it with the understanding. 
Equally master of every part of the evangelical system, he never steps 
out of his way to avoid what encounters him, or to pick up what is not 
obvious : he never betakes himself to the covers of unfairness or igno- 
rance ; but he unfolds, with the utmost intrepidity and clearness, the 
topic that comes before him. 

^* Moreover, it not a little enhances the value of his writings, that he 
si frilly aware how fer the legitimate range of human inquiry extends, 
and what is the boundary Divine wisdom hath affixed to man''s inqui- 
sitiveness. While the half-learned theologian beats about in the dark, 
and vainly attempts a passage through metaphysical labyrinths, M'hich 



lU LIFE or LEIGBTON.' 

it is tiie part of sober ^risdom not to enter, the s^acioas Leigfaton 
tinctily sees the line, beyond which speculation is folly : and in stop^ 
ping at that limit he displays a promptness of decision, commensurate 
with his unwavering certainty in proceeding up to it. 

« Such a writer as Leig^ton was incapable of parade. He was too 
intent upon his subject to be choice of words and phrases, and his works 
discover a noble carelessness of diction, which in some respects enhances 
iheir b^uty. Their strength is not wasted by excessive polishing : 
their glow is not impaired by reiterated touches. But, though he was 
little curious in culling words and compounding sentences, his language 
is generally apt and significant, sufficioit for the grandeur of his con- 
ocptions, without encumbering them. If not always grammatically 
correct, it is better than mere correctness would make it ; more forcible 
and touching ; attracting little notice to itself, but leaving the reader 
to the full impulse of those ideas of which it is the vehicle. Leighton 
is great by the magnificence of thought ; by the spontaneous ema&»- 
.tions of a mind replete with sacred knowledge, and bursting with 
seraphic affections ; by that pauseless gush of intellectual splendour, 
in which the outward shell, the intermediate letter, is ^ipsed and al- 
most annihilated, that full scope may be given to the mighty eflblgenoe 
of the informing spirit.^— Pear«of}'« Life of Lmghton 



PRACTICAL COMMENTARY 



UPOW TH« 



FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL 



OF 



ST. PETER. 



Chap. I. txb. 1. 



r 



of J^HM Chriit, to tlM 



sna inuijiiBL 



JL HE gnoe of Ck>d in die heart of man, Is a 
tader plant in a stnuige unkindly toil ; and 
thcRfbre cannot well pnMper and grow, witb« 
omt much caie and pains, and that of a skil. 
fill hand, and thmt bath the art of cherishing 
it : For this end, hath God given the con- 
atmat ministzy of the word to his Church, 
not oolj ftv the first woik of conversion, but 
also for confirming and increasing of his 
gnoe in the hearts of his <^i3dren. 

And thoo^ the eztnordinary ministers of 
die goqiel, Oie aposUes, had prlndp^ the 
fioinierftir their charge, the conv e rti ng of un- 
bdicvets, Jews and Gentiles, and so the 
planting of churches, to be after kept, ayd 
watered by others, as tlie aposdo intimates, 
1 Cor. iii. 6, jet did they not neglect the 
odicr woik of strengthening the graoe of God 
began in the new converta of Siose times, 
bodi by revisiting them, and exhorting them 
in person, as they could, and by the supply 
of their writing to them when absent. 

And the benefit of this extends (not by 
accident, but by the purpose and good pro* 
videnoe of God) to the Church of God in all 



This exceUent Episde (full of evangelical 
doctrine and apostolical authority) is a brief, 
and yet very dear, summary, both of the 
consolations and instructions needful for the 
eneoungement and direction of a Christian 
in his joomey to heaven, elevating his 



thoughts and desiies to that hapillness, and 
strengthening him against all opposition in 
the way, both that of oomruption within, and 
temptations and afflictions flrom without. 

The heads of doctrine contained in it ai« 
many, but the main that are most insisted 
on are these three, faithy obetUenee, and pa» 
Heneef to establish them in believing, to 
direct them in doing, and comfort them in 
suflering. And because the first Is the 
ground-iwoik and support of the other tw% 
this first diapter is much on that, peisuad« 
ing them of the truth of that mystery they 
hid received and did believe, vur. their re- 
demption and salvation by Christ Jesus; 
that inheritance of immortality bought by 
his blood ftr them, and the evidence and 
stsbility of their right and title to it. 

And then he uses this belief, this assn« 
nmce of the glory to come, as the great per. 
suaaive to the odier two, both to holy obe- 
dience and to constant patience, since no« 
thing can be too mudi, either to forego or 
undergo^ either to do or to suffer, for the 
attainment of that blessed state. 

And asfiom the consideration of thatobject, 
and matter of the hope of belleven, he enoou* 
rages to patience, and exhorteth to hollnest 
in this chapter in general; so in the following 
chapters he expresses more particularly, both 
the universal and special duties of Chiistians, 
both in doing and suffering, often setting be* 
fore them to whom he wrote, the matchless ex« 
ample of the Lord Jesus, and the greatness 
of dieir engagement to fbUow him. 

In the first two verses, we have the im* 
McripHon snd waktiaium^ in the usual style 
of the apoatoUc epistlca. 

A 



2 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[chap. I 



The ifucripiion hath the auth<Hr and the 
address, from whom, and to whom. The 
author of this epistle ih designed hy his 
name, Peter, and his callinfff an apostle. 

We shall not insist upon his name, that 
it was imposed by Christ, and what is its 
signification ; this the evangelists teach us, 
St John, i. 42 ; St Matt. zvl. 18., &c. 

By that which is spdLen of him in diyen 
passages of the Gospel, he is Tery remarkable 
amongst the ^[Kwtles, both fbf his graces 
and his filings ; eminent in seal and cou- 
rage ; yet stumbling oft in his forwardness, 
and once grossly falling : And these by the 
providence of God being recorded in scrip- 
ture, give a chedc to the excess of Rome's 
conceit concerning this apostle. Their ex- 
tolling and exalting him above the rest, is 
not for his cause, and much less to the ho- 
nour of his Lord and Master Jesvs Ghriat^ 
for he is injured and dishonoured by it; but 
it is in favour of themselves, as Alexander 
distinguished his two friends, that the one 
was a ftiend of Alexander, the other a 
friend of the king. That preferment they 
give this apostle is not in good will to Peter, 
but in the desire of Primacy, But whatso- 
iver be wda, dkey Woidd bfc mueh in jtein to 
ptfove BoBse's right to it by suceessioii. And 
if ever it had any such ri^H, we may oonfi* 
dently say, it has fbifeiied It king iqpo^ by 
d€|»afting fioin St Peter's fb(Mstcpa^ a^from 
)iis fiuth, and retaining too much those 
thiD^ wherein he was ftulty t namdy, 
. Bis unwillingness to hesr of, and consent 
to Christ's an&rings, — his Maett^^ spare 
th$setf, or Far be U /rem th€e,-^4n tho«t 
iJtkof ace like him : For thus they would dis« 
boidcit and exempt the Churdi horn the 
Cross, ftnm the leal cross of aflietiona, and, 
iBstdid of that, have nothing but painted, or 
carved, er gfVled crosses) these tkey an 
eontcnt to embrace, and worship too, but 
Uxmot endure to hear of the other. Inttead 
of the cross of affliction, ^ey make the 
crown «r mitre the badge of their ehnich, 
andwiU have it known by psosperity and 
oucward pomp, and so turn the cfauich mili. 
taut into the cfanrch triumphant, not conrf. 
deriag that it is Babfflen's veiee, not te 
chmrdbi's, I sii as a queeny and shall see no 
sorrow* 

^gain, t^y are like him in his saying on 
the mount at Christ's transfigiixafciaD, when 
he knew not what he said^ It is good to be 
here : So they have Utde of the true s^oiy 
cf Christ, but die ftlse g^kory of that mo*, 
mzchy on their seven hills, It is good to be 
here, say they. 

Again, in their undue striking with the 
•vordy not the eaBemics, as he, but riie fiuthfiil 
ftiends and servants of Jesus Christ. But 
to proceed. 

. We see bete Peter's office er title, stn 
Apostle, not ehief Bishop, Sone in their 



glossing have been so Impudent as to add 
that beside the text ; though chap. v. 4, he 
gives that title to Christ alone, and to him« 
9^ oidy fellow Elder, and here, not Prince 
Hf the Apostles, but an Apostle, restored 
and re-established after his fall, byrepen. 
tanoe, , and by Christ himself after his own 
death and resurrection, John xxi. Thus we 
have in our apostle a singular instance of hu- 
man frailty on the one side, and of the sweet- 
ness of diyine grace on the other. Free and 
rich grace it is indeed, that forgives and 
swallows up multitudes of sins, and of great- 
est sinS| not only sins before conversion, aa 
to St Paul, but foul offences committed afber 
conversion, as to David, and to this apos- 
tle ; not only (mce raising theib from the 
dead, but when they fall, stretching out the 
ssme hand, and raising them again, and ic 
storing them to their station, and comforting 
them in it by his free Spirit, as David 
prays. Not only to cleanse poQuted day, 
but to work it into vessels of honour, yea, of 
the most defiled shape to make the most re- 
fined vessels, not vessels of honotur of the 
lowest sort, Isut for the highest and most ho- 
nourable services, vessels to bear his own 
precious Nam* to die natkna ; making the 
most unworthy and the most unfit, fit by his 
grace to be his messengen. 

Of Jesus Christ.] Both as the Begin, 
ning and End of his apostleship, as Christ is 
called Alpha and Omega, Rev. iL 11, cho- 
sen and called by him^ ani eaUed to tfala, 
to preach him, and salvatkn wiMi^ by 
him. 

AposOe of Jesus Chriei. ) Sent by him, 
and the message no other but his Name, to 
make that known. And what this aposde* 
ship was then, after some eKtzaordinny way, 
befitting these ibst tines of the gospel, that 
the ministiy of the word in oidinary is nem, 
and therefore aa employment of more diffi* 
culty and exoeJIency limx is usually eon- 
ceived by many, not only of those that look 
upon it, but even ef those that ate exerdaed 
in it, to be ambaesadon iat die greatest of 
K^Migfi, and upon no mean employment, that 
great treoty of peace and reconcilement bfr> 
twixt Him and mankind, 8 Cor. v. 20. 

The Bpistle is directed to the eleei, who 
are described here, by their te mp oral aad by 
their spiritual conditions. The first hath 
very much dignity and comfibtt in it ; but 
the other hath neidier, but rather the oon« 
ti«ry of both : And thcrefbretfae apostle, in- 
tending thdr comfiirt, meationa die one but 
in passing, to signify to whom particularly 
he sent his Episde. But the other is thai 
whiA be wboia have their thongfatt dwell 
upon, and therefiire he proaecutes it in hit 
following discourse. And if we took to the 
order of die words, their temporal condition 
is but Inteijected ; fiir it is said, To the 
Blectf fint, and dun To the Hrtmgfr s ecaU 



V£tU I.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



Iffw/y &c. Add he wOuU have this m it 
were drowned in tbe other, acemrding to the 
foreknowledge of God the Father. 

That thoae dispencd wbaakgea that dwelt 
in the connlnM hen named, were Jews, 
a|ipen% If we Icwk to the ^Megoing Epistle, 
where die aame word is need, and ezpiessly 
a in a tiyiia ted to die Jews, St James L 1. 
And OaL ti. St Peter lacaUed «m apoetle ef 
the eireumeieionf as ezeraaing his aposde- 
diip moat mwaidB them; and there is in 
some passages of the Epistle somewhat, that, 
dMiigh hdfldging to sll Ghriedsns, yet hath, 
in die strain aiid way of expression, a parti. 
eular fimess to the beUeving Jews, as being 
paiticiilafly verified in them wldch was spo- 
ken of their nation, chap. ii. ver. 9, 10. 

Some aigue finn die name, etrangerey 
that the Gentiles are here BMaut, which 
seems not to he s Forproselyte GcDtfles were 
indeed called strangem in Joruaalem, and by 
the Jews. But were not the Jewa etiaiigen 
In these plaees, Pbntns, Galatia, Gsppado- 
cia, Aiia^ and BithyiliaP Not atnmgen 
dwelling togediflr in a prasperons flom^- 
ii^ sMtdidoo, as a well pianted colony, but 
etrtmfiere ^f the dieperekmy scattered to and 
hoi and their diepertum was paidy, first 
hf tbm Assyrian capdnty, and after that by 
the Babylonish, and by the inv asidtt of thic 
RwnaM I And it might be in these Yeiy 
dmca inoeased by the beiiaring Jews flying 
from the hatred and persscudon dutt was 
laised against them at home* 

Theae places here mentioned^ dmmgfa 
which they wcse dspersed, are all in A^. 
So A«a heie is Aeia die fester. Where it 
is to be observed, that some of these who 
hesrd St Peter, Acts ii. are said to be of 
diose mgieBB. And if any of those then ooo- 
vwted were anum^ these diq^sed, the oom- 
ftit waa no doydrt die men giMeful from the 
hand of the same apostle hy whom they were 
drst aonvcrted ; but this is only conjectiire. 
Though divine truths are to be received 
ei|aaUy from every minister alike, yet it 
mnst be acknowledged, that there is some- 
thing (we know not what to call it) of a 
moie aGce|«tahle receptkm of those who at 
iiiat were die means of bringing men to God, 
than of odiers ; like the opinion some have 
of pfayaiGians whom they Imre. 

The apostle oomforts diese stmngcrs of 
dds dispersion by the spiritual miion which 
they obtained by effectual eaUing^ and so 
ealli off their eyes from dieir outward, dis- 
persed, and despised condition, to look above 
that, aa high as the spring cf their happi- 
ness, the free leve and eleetien of Obd. 
SeaUered in the coonferiss, and yet gathered 
in Ood's electloa, chosen or pifked oat ; 
scmngca to men amongst whom they dwelt, 
hut known mA foreknown to God ; removed 
from dwir own country^ to which men have 
aattnBy an wltiiabis aflbcdon, but made 



heire of a.better, as foUows, ver. 3, 4. ; and 
having within then the evidience both of eter- 
nal elocdon, and that expected salvadon, die 
SjArit of Hoiineetj ver. 2. At die best a 
Christian ia but a stranger here, set him 
where you wiQ, as our i^^de teadbes aAer i 
And it is his privil^e that he is so ; and 
when he thinks not so, he ftcgets and dis- 
parages himself, and descends fiir below his 
qnalitj, when he is much taken with any 
dilng in this place of his exile. 

But this is the wisd<»n of a Christian, 
when he can solace himself against the 
meandess of his ontwaid condition, and any 
kind of disQomibrt attending it, with the 
eemfortahle assurance of the love of God, 
that he hadi called him to holiitess, given 
him some measure of it, and an endeavour 
after mow ; and by this may he conclude^ 
that he hath ordained him unto sslvadoo. 
If either he is a stranger where be lives, or 
as a stn&ger deserted of his friends, and 
very near stripped of all outward comforts ; 
3Pel he may rejoice in diis, that the eternal 
imrhangeaWe love of God, that is from ever- 
leering ta evfriasting, is iealed to his souL 
And O 1 what will it avail a man to be cem» 
pissed ahoot with the fiivour of the world, 
to ait unmolested in his own home and pes* 
se ssi ons, and to have them veiy great and 
pleasant, to be well monied, and landed, and 
befriended, and yei estianged and severed 
from God, not having any token of his spe» 
cial love ? 

To the Eleot.'\ The apostle here deno- 
minates all the C^sdans to whom he writes, 
by the condition of true believers, caUing 
them elect and sanctified, &c. And the 
apostle St Paul writes in die same style in 
his efisdes to the churches. Not that all in 
these diurches were rnch Indeed, but be- 
cause diey prdessed to be such, and by that 
their proftssion and calling as Christians, 
diey were d^liged to be such ; and as many 
of diem as were in any measure true to tliat 
their calling and profession, were reslly such. 
Besides, it would seem not unworthy of con* 
sideradoB, diat in bH probability there would 
be fewer fklee Chrisdans, and the number of 
true believers usually greater, in the churches 
in those primidve times, than now in the 
best reformed charehes : Because diere could 
not then be many of them Ihat were from 
dieir infrncy bred in die Christian faidi, but 
fn the greatest part were such, as, being ^ 
years of discretion, were, by the hearing ef 
the gospel, converted from Paganism and 
Judaism to the Christian religion ihrst, and 
made a doliberato ehdce of it, to which diere 
were at that dme no great outward eneou* 
vagements ; and therefore the less danger of 
mifldtudes of hypocrites, which, as vermin 
in summer, breed most in the dme of the 
ehuroh's prosperity. Though no nadon ot 
Mngdom had dien vttlrefMdly rteeifed th* 



A COMMKNTAKY UPON 



[chap. r. 



lUth, but rather hated and persecuted it ; 
yet were there e^en then amongst them, as 
the writings of the apotdea testify, false bre- 
thren, and inordinate walkears, and men of 
cofmpt minds earthly minded, and led with 
a spirit of envy and contention and vain* 

glOTy. 

Although itie question that is moved oon- 
oeming ihe necessary qualifications of all tile 
members of a true visible church, can no 
way, as I conceive, be decided from the in- 
gcriptions of tile episties ; yet certainly they 
am useful to teach Christiiins and Christian 
churches what they ought to be, and what 
tiieir holy profesBion requires of them, and 
ahsrply to reprove the gross nnlikeness and 
inooD&nnity that is in & most part of men, 
to tile des<^ption of Chriatiana. Aa there 
may be some that are too strait in their 
ju^pnent concerning the being and nature of 
tiie visible church, so certainly the greatest 
part of churches are too loose in theb prac- 
tice. 

FVom tile dissimilitude betwixt onr 
dmsdies and those, we may make tills use 
of reproof, that if an apostolical epistle were 
to be directed to us, it ought to be inscribed. 
To the ignorant, profane, malicious, &c As 
he, who at the hearing of the gospd read, 
aaid, ** Either tiiis is not the gnpel, or we 
ne not Christians ;*' so either these charac- 
ters, given in the inscription of these epis- 
ties, are not true characters, or we are not 
true Christians. 



Vkr. 2. Elect aooording to the flneknowledfe of 
God die Father, through nnctJAcation of the 
Spirit, unto obedleBce and gprinkling of the blood 
or Jesus Chrkt. 

Ik this verse we have their oonditumy and 
the eauses of it. Their condition, saneiified 
and jxui\fied ; the fbimer expressed by obe^ 
dienee, tiie latter by sprinkling qf the blood 
^ Christ, The causes, 1. Eternal election. 
2. The e^feoution qf that deereoy their effec- 
tual oallinfff whi<^ I conceive is meant by 
election here, the selecting tiiem out of the 
world, . and joining them to tiie fellowship of 
the children of God ; so John ziv. 19. The 
former, election^ is particularly ascribed to 
God the Father, the latter, to the Holy Spi- 
lit, and the blood of Jeeut Christ the Son 
of God is here the cause of their just^fica- 
Hon g and so the whole Trinity concurring, 
dignify them with this their spiritual a^ 
hi^py eatate. 

First, I shall discourse of these separate- 
ly, and then of their connexion. 1. Of the 
atate itself; and first of ^u«/(/Sca<ioft,thou^ 
named last. 

This sprinkling has respect to the rite of 
the legsl purification by tiie sprinkling of 
blood, and that appositely ; for these rites of 
aprinkling and blood, did all point out this 
tilood and tiiia aprinkling} and exhibited thi« 



true ransom of souls, which was only aha* 
dowed by them. 

As the use and aid of sprinkling was pu^ 
rijieation and espiatum^ because sin merit- 
ed death, and the pdttutions and staina of 
human nature were by sin ; such' is the pcA- 
luticm, that it can be no mamier of way 
washed off but by blood, Heb. ix. 22. Nei- 
ther is then any blood able to purge flmn 
sin, except tiie most precious blood of Jeans 
Christ, which is called the blood tf God, 
Acts XX. 28. 

That the stain of sin can only be washed 
off by blood, intimates, tiiat it merits deatii. 
And that no Uood, but tiiat of tile Son of God, 
can do it, intimates, that this stain merits 
eternal death ; and it had been our portion, 
except the death of tiie eternal Lord of Lift 
had fipeed us ttom it. 

Filthiness needs sprinkling; gvUtinesSf 
such as deserves death, needs sprinkling of 
blood ; and the death it deserves bring ever- 
lasting death, the blood ftiust be tiie blood 
of Christ, the eternal Lord of Life dying to 
tree us f^om tiie sentence of death. 

The soul (aa tiie body) hath its lifb, its 
health, its purity ; and tiie contrary of thea^ 
its death, diseases, deformities, and impu- 
rity, wliich belong to it aa to their first sub- 
ject, and to the body by participation. 

The soul and body of idl mankind is stain- 
ed by the pollution of sin. The impure le- 
prosy of the soul is not a spot outwardly, 
but wholly inward ; hence, as tiie oarpoaal 
leprosy was purified by the sprinkling of 
blood, so is this. Then by reflecting, we lee 
how all this that the apostle St Peter ex- 
presseth, is necessary to justification : 1. 
Christ the Mediator betwixt God and man, 
is God and man. 2. A mediator not only 
intcnxding, but also satisfying, Eph. ii. 16. 
3. This satisfiurtion dotii not reconcile us, 
unless it be iqyplied. Therefbre tiiere is not 
only mention of blood, but the sprinkling of 
it. The Spirit by fiuth sprinkleth tiie soul, 
as with hyssop, wherewith the sprinkling 
was made : This is it of which tiie ptophet 
speaks, Isa. lii. 16. So shall he sprinkle 
many nations. And which the Apostie to 
the Hebrews prefers above all legal sprink- 
lings, cluq). ix.-12, 13, 14, both'as to its du- 
ration, and as to the excellency of its effects. • 

Men are not easily convinced and per- 
suaded of tiie deep stidn of sin ; and that no 
other laver can fetch it out, but the sprink- 
ling of the blood of Jesus Christ Some 
that have morsl resolutions of amendment, 
dislike at least gross sins, and purpose to 
avoid them, and it is to them cleanness 
enough to refonn in tiiose things ; but they 
consider not what becomes of tiie guiltiness 
they have contracted already, and how that 
ahall be purged, how their natural pollution 
shall be taken away. Be not deceived in 
tU . la not a txaniicat iigh| or a lighl 



TEft. k] 



THE FIRST £PISTL£ OF PJ3TER. 



woid, or a vUh of Godfotgiveme-; no, nor 
Ihe higbcit caaaA of lepentaaoe, nor that 
wliidi is the troest endence of lepentanoe, 
lom^i'"*"* : it it none of these that puzifiei 
in the tight of God, end expiatet wnth ; they 
ere aU impcifect and ttained thfinatelvei, 
ctnnot ataad and answer ftr dmntdvety 
modi lett be of ▼ahie to oonntetpoise the for- 
mer guilt of tin : the Tory tesn of the purest 
zcpentanee;, unless they be. sprinkled with 
this blood, are impure; all oar washings 
without this aie but washings of the blacka* 
mattj it ia labour in vain, Jer. li. 22. Job 
iz. 30y 31. There is none truly pu]^^ by 
the Uood of Christ, that doth not endeavour 
after purity of heart and conversation ; but 
yet it is the Uood of Ghiitt by which they 
ave all fiur, and there is no spot in diem. 
Here it ia said, elect to obedience ; but be- 
cause that obedience is not perfect, there 
most be tporinkling of the blood too. There 
la nothing in reUgion ibrther out of natnre^s 
reach, and out of its liking and bdOwving, 
than the doctrine of redemption by a Sa- 
viour, and a crucified Saviour, by Christ, 
and by his blood, first shed on the cross in 
hit suffering, and then sprinkled on the soul 
by hie Spirit. It is easier to make men sen. 
sible of the necessity of repentance and a- 
mendment of life, (diongh that is very difii- 
cult,) thanof Uiispurgingby the sprinklingof 
this preduNia Uood. IMd we see how need- 
ful Christ is to us, we would esteem and love 
him more. 

It is not by the hearing of Christ, and of 
his blood in the doctrine of the gosjiel ; it is 
not by the sprinkling of water, even that 
water that is the sign of this blood, without 
the blood itself, and the sprinkling of it. 
Many are present where it is sprinkled, and 
yet have no portion in it. Look to this, 
that this blood be sprinkled on your souls, 
that the destroying angel may ]M88 by you. 
There ie a generation (not some few but a 
generation) deceived in this ; they are their 
own deoeiveiB, pure in their oum eyee, Prov. 
xxz. 12. How earnestly did David pray, 
Witeh m«, purfe me with hyeeop I Though 
bathed in tears, PsaL iv. 6, dsat satisfied not, 
wiuh thou me* This is the honourable con- 
dition of the saints, that they are purified and 
consecrated unto God by this sprinkling; 
yea, have on long white robes washed in the 
Uood of the Lamb. There is mention in. 
deed of great tribulationy but there is a 
double comfinrt joined with it. 1. They come 
out of it, that tribuLition hath an end. And, 
2. They pass firom that to glory ; ibr they 
have on the robe of candidates^ long white 
robee washed in the blood qf the Lamby 
waahed white in blood ; as for this blood, 
it is nothing but purity and spotlessness, 
being stained with no sin ; and besides, hath 
that virtue to take away the stain of rin 
where it is sprinkled. Mg well-beloved is 



white and ruddg, saith the spouse, thus in 
his death, ruddy by bloodshed, white by in* 
nooence, and purity of that blood. 

Shall they then that axe purged by this 
blood return to live among the swine, and 
tumble with them in the puddle ? What 
gross injury is tins to themselves, and to that 
Uood by which they are cleansed ? They 
that are chosen to this sprinklingy are like, 
wise chosen to obedience ; this Uood puri« 
fieth the heart ; yea, this blood jmfgeth cmr 
eonsoienees from dead works to serve th4 
lining God, Heb. iz. 14. 

2. Of their sanctification, elect unto ohe* 
dienoe,'\ It is easily understood to whom i 
when obedience to God is expressed by the 
simple*abflolute name of obedience, it teach* 
eth us, that to him alone belongs absolute 
and unlimited obedience; all obedience by 
all creatures. It is the shame and miseiy if 
man that he hath departed from this ob^ 
dienoe, that we are become sons cf disobe* 
dience : But grace renewing the hearts of 
believers, changeth their natures, and so 
their names, and makes them children of 
obedience, as afterwards in this chapter* 
As this obedience consists in the receiving 
Christ as our Redeemer, so also at the sam« 
time as our Lord and King, an entire ren. 
dering up of the whole man to Us obedience* 
This obedience then of the only-begotten 
Jesus Christ, may well be understood not 
as his acHvelg, as Boa, but objectivelg, as 
2 Cor. X. 5. I think here it is contained, 
yea, chiefly understood to signify that obe- 
dience, which the apostle to the Romans 
calls the obedience of faith, by wUch the 
doctrine of Christ is received, and so Christ 
himself, which uniteth the believing soul to 
Christ ; he sprinkles it with his blood to the 
remission of sin, and is the root and spring 
of all future obedience in the Christian life. 

By obedience, sanctification is here intl.t 
mated : It signlQes then, both habitual snd 
active obedience, renovation of heart and 
confoxmity to the divine will ; the mind is 
illuminated by the Holy Ghost, to know and 
believe the divine wiH ; yea, this fidth is the 
great and chief part of obedience, Rom. i. 
8. The truth of the doctrine ik first im« 
pressed on the mind, hence flows out plea^ 
sant obedience, and full of love ; hence all 
the affections, and the whole body, with 
its members, learn to give a willing obe* 
dience, and submit unto Gk>d, whereas be- 
fore they resisted him, being under the stan^ 
dard of Satan. 

This obedience, though impexfect, yel 
hath a certain, if I may so say, imper&ct 
perilbction. It is universal three manner of 
ways : 1. In the subject. 2. In the object. 
3. In the duration, the whole man subject, 
ed to the whole law, and that constantly and 
perseverin^y. 

The first universality is the cause of the 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[crap. t. 



other ; beesuie it is not in the tatkgom akoe, 
ur la the hand, Ac. but has Its iMt iii the 
heart ; thafefore it doth not widKr aa the 
gnas, or flower Ijing on the anpoAce of the 
earth; but it flouziahea, becauao rooted; 
and therefore it embraoea the whole law, be* 
oanse it ariaes ftom a revetence it haaftir 
the Law-giver himadf. ReveieBcey I Mf > 
but tempoed with love t hence it aocowita 
no kw nor command little, or of email va- 
Ine, whieh b from Ood, becanae he ia great 
and highly esteemed by the piout heart. No 
command hard, though contrary to the flesh) 
because all things tset easy to love ; theie is 
the same autfaodty in all, as St James di- 
▼indy argues. And this authority is the 
goldoi diain of all the ^ commandments, 
which if bioke in any link, all ftSs to pieces. 

That this threefold petfection of obedience 
is not a picture diawn by foncy, is evident in 
David, PsaL cxix. where he snbjecto him- 
self to the whole law. His foet, ver. 105 ; 
Ids mouth, ver. 13 ; his heart, ver. 11 ; the 
whole tenor of his lifo, ver. 24. He sub- 
jecta himself to the whole law, ver. 6. 
and he professes his constancy therein, in 
ver. 16 and 38, Teach me the wap of thy, 
9taiut€$y and I shall keep it unto the end. 

Ulv, We have the causes of the condi- 
tion wove described. 

Aeeofding to the forfknmoledge of God 
the Father,] The exactest knowledge of 
things is, to know them in their causes ; it 
is then an excellent thing, and worthy of 
their endeavours that are most desirous of 
knowledge, to know the best things in their 
highest causes, and the happiest way of at- 
tafiiing to this knowledge is to possess those 
things, and to know them in experience. 
To such the apostle hers speaks, and sets 
befoie them the excellency of their spiri- 
tual condition, and leada dtem to the causes 
of it. 

Their estate is, that they are eanetified 
and Jmtified: The nearest cause of both 
these is Jesus Christ ; he is made unto them 
both Hghtemutnese and eanctification f the 
spriidillngof his blood piuifies them ftom 
guiltiness, and quickens them to obedience. 

The appropriating or applying cause 
comes next under consideration, which is 
the holy, and holy making, or sanctifying 
Spirit, die author of their selecting from the 
world, and effectual calling unto grace. 

The source of all, the appointing or de- 
creeing cause, is God the Father: for 
though they all work equally in all, yet in 
order of working, we are Uught thus to dis- 
tinguish, and particularly to ascribe the first 
wnrit of eternal election to the first person of 
the Messsd Trinity. 

• In or through sanctifitation.'l For to 
raider it elect to the eanctijleation is strain- 
ed ; So then I conceive this election is their 
stfbctual calling, Which is by the a-orking of 



the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor. i. 96, ^, 28, wheit 
vocation and eleethn are used In the same 
sense s Ye see yciwr oalling, brethren^ how 
Aat net moTiy wise men after the flesh, Slc* 
but God hath chosen the fooHsh things of 
the woHd to eonfimnd the wise. It is the 
first act of the decree of election ; die be- 
ginning of ita performance in those that are 
deeicd ; and it is in itself a real sepantllng 
of men ftom the proAne and ndasfable con* 
dition of the world, and an appropriating 
and consecrating of a man otto Ood ; and 
dierefore, both in regard of its relation to 
election, and in regard of its own nature, it 
well bean that name, Rom. viil. 28, 30 ; 
Acts li. 47, and xiii. 48 ; John tv. 19. 

Sanetijieation in a narrower sense, as dia. 
tinguished from justijication, signifieth die 
inhetent holiness of a Christian, or his being 
inclined and enabled to obedience, mention* 
ed in this verse i But it is here more large, 
and is co-extended with the whole work of 
renovation, and is the severing and separat- 
ing of men to Ood, by his Holy Spirit, 
drawing them unto him ; and so it compre- 
hends justification, as here, and the first 
working of foith, by which the smd is justi- 
fied, through its apprehending, and appl3ring 
the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 

Of the Spirit,] The word calls men ex- 
ternally, and by that external calling pre- 
vails with many to an external receiving and 
professing of religion ; but if it be left alone 
it goes no furtlier ; it is indeed the means of 
sanctification and effectual calling, John 
xvii. 17, Sanctify them through thy truth. 
But diis it doth when the Spurit that speaks 
in the word works in the heart, and causes it 
to hear and obey. The spirit or soul of a 
man is the chief and first subject of this 
work, and it is but slight false work that be- 
giiM not there : but the Spirit here, is ra- 
ther to be taken for the Spirit of Ood ihe 
efficient, than the Spirit of man the subject 
of this sanctification ; and therefore our Sa- 
viour in that place prays to the Father, thai 
he teould sanctify his own by that tmth^ 
and this he doth by the concurrence of his 
Spirit with that word of truth whidl is the 
h'fb and vigour of it, and makes it prove the 
porcer of God unto salvation to them that 
believe. It is a fit means in itself, but it is 
then a prevailing means, when the Spirit ot 
Ood brings it into the heart ; it is a sword, 
and sharper than a two-edged gtcord, fit to 
divide, yea even to the dividing of soul and 
spirit. But this it doth not, unless it be 
in the Spirit^s hand, and he applies it to thU 
cutting and dividing. The word calls, but 
the Spirit draws, not severed from that word^ 
but working in it and by it. 

It is very diificult woik to draw a soul Out 
of the hands and strong chains of S^tan, and 
out of the pleasing entanglements of the 
world, and out of its own natural |)crvene- 



n 



2.1 



THE riU? KiPISTIjfi ^ VW£R. 



oeas, to yidd up itadf wtto Qod, to deuy iit- 
sd^ «Dd live to bim ; mod in so doing, to 
nin against the main sueam, ^nd the cur- 
rent of the ungodly world without, and oor* 
luption within. ^ 

The strongest rhetoric, the most moving 
and persuasive way of discouxse, is all too 
weak ; the tongue of men and angels cannot 
pievaU with the soul to free itself^ and shake 
oif aU that detains it. Although it be oon* 
vinoed of the truth of those thhigs ih^t are 
lepRseated to it, y^ still it can and will 
hold out sgainst it, and say, Non pwnuid^ 
Ha, tfHanMt persuaseris. 

The hand of man is too weak to phick 
any soul out of the crowd of the world, fnd 
set it in amongst the select number of be- 
lievers. Oidy the Father of spirits hath ab- 
solute command of spirits, vl2. the souls of 
jncn, to work on them as he p l e fs e th, and 
where he wiH. This powerful, this sanc- 
tifying Spirit, knows no resistance, works 
sweetly, and yet slionjB^y ; it can come into 
the heart, whereas all other speakers are 
fnrced to stand without. That still voice 
within persuades more than all the loud cry- 
ing without ; as he &at is within the bouse, 
though he speak low, is better heard and un- 
deiatood than he that shouts without doors. 
When the Lord himself apeaks by this 
bis Spirit to a man, sdecting and calling 
him out of the lost world, he can no moce 
disobey, than Abraham did, when the Lord 
spoke to him after an extraordinary manner, 
to depart from his own country and kindred : 
Gen. zii. 4, Abraham dtnarted^ at tKe 
Lord had tpoiken to him. There is a secret 
but very powerful virtue in a word, a lodt, 
or touch of this Spirit upon . die soul, by 
which it is fenced, not with a harsh but 
a pleasing violence, and cannot choose but 
follow it, not unlike that of £li^ah*s mantle 
•upon EHsha, 1 Kings zix. 19. How easy 
did the disciples ioiMke their callings and 
dweUiogs to fbUow Christ. 

The Spirit of God draws a man out of the 
world by a sanctified light sent into his 
mind, discovering to him, 1. How base and 
&lse the sweetness of sin is that withholds 
men and amuses them that they return not, 
and how true and ssd the bitterness is, that 
win follow upon it. 2. Setting before his 
eyes the fiee and happy condition, the glo- 
rious liberty qfthe Sons qf God, the ridiea 
of their present enjoyment, and their &r 
laiger and assured hopes for hereafter. 3. 
Making ihe beauty of Jesus Christ visible 
to the soul ; which straightway takes it so, 
that it cannot be stayed horn coming to him, 
thou^ its most bdoved £dends, most belov- 
ed sins. He in the way, and hang about it and 
pry, WiH you leave us so ? It will tread 
upon all to come witliin the embraces of 
Jcsos CliiL»t^ and say with St Paul, / wtuf 



noi 4iieobedieni io^ or unpmmftd^ ^ tJktk 
heaveniy vieion^ « 

It is no wonder that the godly are bjl 
some called singular and precise ; they, are 
so, siu^vJar, a few selected ones, picked oit| 
by Qod's own haqd for himseli; Psal. iv. a« 
Know that the Lord^ hath eei apart him 
thai is godiyfwt himse{f t There/ore, saitll 
our Saviour, the werld halee youy beew^se i 
have Qho§en you Qut^ ^ the world* For the 
world lies in unhoUness, and wiokedness i4 
bi^ried in it. And as living men can hav^ 
no pleasure assoog ih^ dsad, neither can 
these elected ones among fjie ungodly ; they 
walk in the world as vnrily fA a ib«& (t 
woman, neatly app^ejled, would do avMSngpt 
a multitude that are all sullied and bendied. 

jSudeaTour to have this sanctifying Spirii 
in. yourKlves ; pray much for it ; for his 
promise is passed to us, that he teiU give 
thu Holy Spirit to them that aek it. And 
shall we be such fools as to want it for want of 
asking 9 When we fold heavy fetters on our 
souls and mueb weakness, yea avetseness t* 
follow the voice of QoA. calling us to his ote^ 
dienc^ then let us pray with the ^xmss^ 
draw me. She cannot go nor stir wijIioQft 
that drawing ; and yet wi& it, Aot only goe% 
but runa : }Ve will run after tikee^ 

Think it not enough that you hear thfe 
word, and use the outward Drdinaafles t( 
God, and pzofess his name; for maay aife 
thus called, and yet but a few of them are 
choaeiu There is but a small part of the 
world outwardly called, in *««»>jnTisfln of the 
rest that is not sc^ and yet the number of the 
true elect is so miall, diat it gains the mvaam 
her of these that ve called the nsme of 
many. They thftt are in the visible ohnach, 
and partake of external vocatioa, art but like 
a large list of names, as in civil eleetiooB i^ 
usual, out of which a small number is chosen 
to the dignity of true Christians, and Invaiu 
ed into their privilege. Seine men in nomi- 
nation to offices or employmcnta, think it « 
worse disappointment and disgrace to hswe 
been in the list, and yet not chosen, titan if 
their names had not been mentioned at alL 
Certainly it is a greater ui^appiaess to have 
been not far from the kimffdom ef God^ as 
our Saviour speaks, and miss of it, dum still 
to have remained in the forthest disCanoe ; tn 
have been at the mouth of the haven, the 
fair havene indeed^ and yet driven bade and 
shipwrecked. Yojor labour- in most prepos* 
texous, you seek to ascertain and make suit 
things that cannot be made sure, and that 
which is both nuve worth, and may be made 
surer than them aU^ you will not cndeaTonr 
to make suie. Hearken to the ap06tle*s ad*. 
vice, and at length set about this in earnest 
to make yowr oalkny and eleeHon euref 
make sure this election, as it is here, for tlwt 
is the order, your efie^tual calling sure^ 



A COMMSNTARV UPON 



[CRAF. T. 



ffid dMt wffl'bring widi it aiiaiMioe of ihe 
other, the eCenial election and lore of God 
tovaidi jooy which fiiUows to he coDtidered. 

Aeeordinff to the foreknowledffg of God 
ihe Father,] Known unto God are ail his 
works from the beginning^ taith ihe aposde 
James, Acta x?. 18. He sees all diings 
ftom the hegiimiiig of time to the end of it, 
and bfTond to all eternity, and firom an eter* 
nitj he did ftteaee than. But this fbte- 
knowledge here is peculiar to the elect. 
Verba sensus in saera seriptura denotant 
a^^tusy as the Rabbins remark ; so fai man, 
PsaL Ixvi. If I see iniquity ; and in God, 
Psafan L 6, For the Lord knoweih the way 
of the righteous, &c Amos iii. 8, You 
oniy have I known of all the famiiies nf the 
earthf &c. And in that speech of our Sa- 
viour, relating it as the teirible doom of re- 
nobates at &e last day. Depart, &c / 
isnow you not, I never knew you ; So St 
P«d, Rom. Tii. lA, For that which I do, I 
allow [€>r. know] not. And Beia observes, 
that yiMtemuf is, by the GreAs, sometimes 
taken Ibr deeernere, judieare ; thus some 
apeak, to cognosce upon a business. So 
then, this foreknowledge is no other but that 
eternal lore of God, or decree of election, by 
which some are appointed unto life, and being 
foreknown or elected to that end, they are 
predesthiate to the way of it, Rom. viii. 29, 
For whom he did foreknow, he also did 
predestinate to be eonformed to the image 
<t^ his Son, that he might be the first-born 
among many brethren. 

It is most vain to imagine a fbrenght of 
fidth in men, and that God in the view of 
that, as the condition of election itself, as it 
is called, has chosen them : For, 1 . Nothing 
at all iafuturum, or can have that imagined 
fuiurilion, but a# it is, and because it is 
decreed by Qod to be ; and therefore, (as 
says the apostle St James, in the passage 
bdEbre cited,) Known unto God are all his 
works, becaase his works in time were his 
purpose ftom eternity. 2. It is most absurd 
to give any reason of Divine will without 
himself. 3. This easily solves all that dif- 
ficulty that the apostle speaks of; and yet 
he never thought of such a solution, but runs 
high for an answer, not to satisfy cavilling 
reason, but to ailenoe it, and stop its mouth : 
Ibr thus the apoatle argues, Rom. ix. 19, 20, 
Thou wilt thin say unlo me. Why doth he 
yet f^ fault ; fir who hath resisted his 
will$ Nay, but, O man, who art thou 
thai repliest against God 9 Who can con- 
esive whence this should be, that any man 
ahonld believe unless it be given him of 
God ; and if given him, then it was his pur- 
pose to give it him ; and if so, then it is 
evident £at he had a puipose to save him ; 
and for that end he gives foith, not therefore 
purposes to save, bmuse man shdl believe. 
4. This seems cross to these scriptures* 



where they speak of the sobordlnadon, 
rather co-ordination of these two^ as 
foreknown and elect, not because of obe- 
dience, or sprinkling, or any audi thing, but 
to obedience and sprinkling, which is by 
fiiith. .So he predestinated, not becaase he 
foresaw men would be conformed to Chris^ 
but that they might be so, as Rom. viii. 29, 
For whom he did foreknow, he also did 
predesHnaie s And the same order. Acta 
ii. 47, And the Lord added to the church 
daily such as should be saoed. And xiil. 
48, And as many as were ordained to eter" 
nal life believed. 

This foreknowledge, then, is his eternal 
and unchangeable love; and that thus he 
chooseth some, and rejecteth others, is for 
that great end, to manifost and magnify hia 
mercy and justice : But why he appointed 
this man for the one, and the odier for the 
other, made Peter a vessel for this mercy, 
and Judas of wrath, this is even so, because 
it seemed good to him. This, if it be harsh, 
yet it is ^Kwtolic doctrine. Hath not the 
potter, (saith St Paul,) power over the 
same lump, to make one vessel unto honour, 
and anoAer unto dishonour 9 This deep 
we must admire, and always in considering 
it, dose with this, O the depth of the riches, 
both of the wisdom and knowledge of God /. 

Now the connection of these, we are for 
our profit to take notice of, that effectual ealtm 
ing is inseparably tied to this eternal fore^ 
knowledge or election on the one side, and 
salvation on the other. These two links- of 
the chain are up in heaven, in God*s own 
hand ; but this middle one is let down on 
earth, into the hearts of his children, and 
they laying hold on it, have sure hold on the 
other two, for no power can sever them ; if 
therefore they can read the characters of 
God*s image in their own souls, those are 
the counter-part of the golden characters ai 
his love, in which their names are written 
in the book of lifo. Their believing writes 
their names under the promises of the revesl- 
ed book of life, the Scriptures ; and so ss- 
certains them, that the same names are in 
the secret book of lifo that God hath by him- 
self from eternity. So, finding the stream 
of grace in their hearts, though they see not 
the fountain whence it flows, nor die ocean 
into whidi it returns, yet they know that it 
hath its source, and shall return to that ocean 
which ariseth from their eternal election, and 
shall empty itself into that eternity of hap- 
piness and salvation. 

Hence much joy ariseth to the believer ; 
this tie is undissdvable, as the agents are, 
the Father, the Son, and the Spirit ; so are 
election, and vocation, and sanetification, 
and justification, and glory. Therdbre in 
all conditions believers may, from the sense 
of the working of the Spirit in them, look 
back to that alection, and forward to that 



«.! 



THE FIRST SPISTLS OF PSTER. 



w^hnAoKkt But thcjr duit teBMiii unholy 
and diadbedicnt, hmn as jtt bo efldoioe of 
AIb love ; and ih ae fae emnot, wiAout Tain 
|BMiianNiian and idMalinion, Judge thus 
of Acnaadvei, that thoy are widbln the pe- 
cnliarlofTe of Oodt Bnt in this, Isi tht 
rifkitamt he glady and let them tkout for 
Jej^ ell tkmi mre nprighi in Aeorl. 

It ia one main pofait In happimea, that he 
diat ia \mpfi doth knour, and judge himadf 
to be 80 ; thia being the peculiar good of a 
irainnahlij oeatoze, it ia to be enjoyed in a 
xeaaonafale vay ; it ia not aa the dull testing 
of a atoney or any other natural body in its 
emtnial place ; but the knowledge and con- 
a idenili flp of it, ia the fruition of.it, the veiy 
i riiahing and taating ita wrcetneaa. 

The perfect Mceaedneaa of the aalnta ia 
vaiting them above : But even their pre- 
aent condition ia truly happy, though incom- 
pletdy, and but a amall beginning of that 
which they expect ; and thia, their preaent 
iMVpineaay ia so much the greater, the more 

ear knowledge and firm penuaaion they 
TO of it. It ia one of the pleaaant fruits 
of die godly, to know the th^nge thai are 
freely ifiven them of Oody 1 Cor. ii. 12. 
TbcRlbre the apoade, to comfbrthis dispers- 
ed btetiiicn, seta before diem a deacription 
of that czcdlent spiritual condition to which 
they are called* 

Ifeleeiiony ttffMual ealUng, and aa/eo- 
Herny be inaeparably linked together ; dien by 
any one of them a man may hold upon aU 
die rest, and may know that hiahdid is sore, 
and thia ia that way wherein we may attain, 
and ought to aeek that comfortable aasoiance 
of the lore of God. Therefore, make jfowr 
emlUmff ewrey and by that your e^laofion ; for 
that being done, this foOowa of itadf. We 
are not to pry immediatdy into the decree, 
but to lead it in the peiftcmance. Though 
die mariner sees not the pole-etary yet the 
needle of the compaaa that points to it, teUa 
him which way he saOa : Thua the heart 
that ia touched with die loadstone of DiTine 
lofe, tnmbling with godly foar, and yet atill 
lofikmg towarda God by fixed believing, 
pointa at the lore of deedon, and teUa the 
aoul that ita eouiae ia hesTenward, towards 
die haven of eternal reat. He that lovea, 
may be anre he waa loved first ; and he that 
diooaes God for his delight and portion, may 
condude eonfidendy, that God hath chosen 
him to be one of diose who shall enjoy him, 
and be happy in him for ever s For that 
our love, aoid dccting of him, ia but the re- 
turn and TCpercuaaion of the beama of hia 
loveahxnlng upon ua. 

Find thou but within thee aanctifioa- 
fien by die Spirit, and thia argoea neoea- 
■Bily, both justification by die Son, and the 
dectioB of God die Fadier : 1 John iv. 18, 
Herebp knew we thai we dwell in Aim, 
and he in tia, becauee he hae given ue tif 



Me Spirit, It ia a moat strange deOMB^ 
atmdon, ab effeetu reeiproeo, he called thoae 
he hath elected ; he dected ifaoae he called* 
Where thia aancdiying Spirit is not, then 
can be no pevanaaion of this eternal love of 
God ; they that are children of dieobedienee^ 
can condude no otherwise of themsdvea but 
that they are the ehUdren of wrath, AU 
diongh ham preaent unsanctificadon, a man 
cannot infor diat he ia not elected, fat the 
decree may ftv port of a man*8 lifo run, as 
it were, under ground ; yet thia ia sure, that 
that estate leads to dcs^, and unless it be 
broken, will prove the blade line of reproba- 
tion. A man hath no portion among the 
diildxen of God, nor can read one word of 
comfort in aU die promiaea tliat bdong to 



them, while he remaina unhdy. Men may 
please themsdvea in profone scoflbig at the 
Hdy Spirit of grace ; but let them withal 
know this, that that Holy Spirit they mock 
and deapiae, is that Spirit tfiat seals men to 
the day qf redemption^ Eph. iv. 30. 

If any pretend they have the Spirit, and so 
turn away from the straight rule of die hdy 
Scriptures, they have a spirit indeed, but it 
is afonatical apirit, the spirit of ddusion and 
giddinesa : But die Spirit of God, that leada 
hia children in the way of truth, and is for 
that purpose sent them from heaven to guide 
them thither, squares their thoughts and ways 
to that role, whereof it is author, and that 
word, whidi was inspired by it, and sanctifies 
diem to obedience : He that saithy I know 
himy and keepeth not hie commandmentsy 
is a lioTy and the truth is not in him, 
1 John iL 4. 

Now thia Spirit diat aanctifieth, and 
sancdfieth to obedience, is within us, the 
evidence of our election, and earnest ai our 
salvation. And whoso are not sanctified and 
led by this Spirit, the aposde tells what ia 
their condition, Rom. viii. 9, If any man 
have not the Spirit f^ Christy he ie none 
of his. 

Let ua not ddude ourselves ; this is a 
truth, if there be any in religion, — ^diey that 
are not made aainta in the eatate of grace, 
shall never be saints in gloty. 

The stones that are appointed for diat 
Various temple above, are hewn, and pdidi* 
ed, and prepared for it here, as the stones 
were wrought and prepared in the mountaina 
for building the temple of Jerusdem. 

Tlds is God^s order. Psalm Ixxxiv. II. 
He givea grace and glory : aa moralista can 
tell us, that die way to the«temple of ho- 
nour is through the temple of virtue. They 
that think th^ are bound fat heaven in the 
wajrs of sin, have dther finmd a new way^ 
untrodden l^ all that have gone thither, or 
will find themadvea decdved in the end. 
We need not then that poor shift for the 
preoaing of hdineaa and obedience upon men, 
to i^Rtent it to them as die meriting cauae 



to 



A COMMliNTAItY UPON 



[ctUV« K 



cf fiaYMioB. TU« U ]i0t at iU to the pur- 
pOMy Mdng without it the neeetsity of holi* 
noM to lalTation is pleasing enough ; Sat ho- 
Uiian 11 DO lete neceieaiy to 8alTatieii» than 
If it were the meriting eauae of it ; it is as 
insepaiably tied to it in the purpose of Qod. 
And in the ocder of pexftgrmanee, godliness 
U as oertainly befive salvation, as if salva- 
tion did wholly and altogether depend upon 
it, and were in point of justice deserved by it. 
Seeing then there is no other way to happiness 
but by holiness, noassuranceof ^elove of God 
without it, take the apostle*s advice, study it, 
seek it, fc^ow earnestly after holiness, toiik^ 
out whieh no man thall see the Lord, 
' Grace unto yeuy and peace be mulHplied. ] 
It hath always been a civil custom among 
men, to season their intercourse with good 
wishes one fiir another ; this the apostles use 
in their epistles, in a spiritual divine way, 
suitable to their hdy writings. It well be- 
comes the messengers of grace and peace to 
wish both, and to make &eir salntation con- 
fortn to the main scope and subject of their 
discourse. The Hebrew word of salntation 
we have here, peace ; and that which is the 
spring both of this and all good things in 
the other word of salutation used by the 
Greeks, grace. All right rejoicing, and 
prosperity, and happiness, flows firaini diis 
source, and fhm this alone, and is sought 
elsewhere in vain. 

In general, thia is the character of a 
Christian spirit, to have a heart filled widi 
hUeeingy with diis sweet good-will and good- 
wishing to all, e^»edally to those that are 
their brethren in die same profisssian of re- 
ligion. And this charity is a pcedous bslm, 
difl\ising itself in the wise and seasonable ex- 
prestions of it upon fit occasions ; and diose 
ezpresaioDs must be cordial and sincere, not 
like that you call court holy water ^ in wliidi 
there is nothing else but fiJsehood, or vani- 
ty at die best. This manifests men to be 
die sons of blessing, and of the ever-blessed 
God the Father of all blessing, when in his 
name they Mess one anodiert Yea, our 
Saviour's rule goes higher, to bieee those that 
curse them, and urges it by that relation to 
God as their Father, that in this they may 
resemble him : That ye may be the child' 
ten tfycur Father tphM is in heaven. 

But in a more eminent way, it is the duty 
of pastors to bless their people, not only by 
dieir public and solemn benediction, but by 
daily and instant pmyers Ar them in secret. 
And the great Father who seeth in eeeret 
will reward them openly. 

They are to be ever both endeavouring 
and wishing their increase of knowledge and 
an spiritual grace, in whidi they liave St. 
Paul a frequent pattern. 

They that are messengers of this grace, 
if they have experience of it, it is the oU of 
gbdncss that will dilate their heart, and 



make it Uaigs in love and 

fat othen, especially their own flaeks. 

Let us, I. Consider the matter of th« 
apostle*s desire for thctt, ^oo« and peaee^ 
2. Themeasuiaflf it,thatitmay bemw/fii 
pHed. 

Isly The matter of the apoatle's deshne^ 
grace. We need not make a noiae with th< 
many school distinctions of gracoy and de- 
scribe in what sense it is here to be tskea ; 
for no doubt it is all saving grace to dioae 
diqpetsed brethren, so that in the largest no- 
tion that it can have that way, we may saft- 
ly here take it. 

What are pveven^ng graeey assisting 
graecy working aiid co-working graecy as we 
may admit these differences in a sound sense^ 
but divers names of the same effectual saving 
grace, in relation to our difibrent estate ? as 
the same sea receives different names fiwm 
the different parts of the shore it beats upon. 
First, it prevents and works ; then it assists 
and prosecutes what he hath wrought : He 
worketh in us to will and to do. But the 
whole sense of saving grace, I conceive, is 
comprehended in these twoi 1. Grace in 
the fountain, that is, the peculiar love and 
favour of Goid. 2. In the streams, the fruits 
of this love : for it is not an empty, but a 
mostrich and liberal love, via. all the giaoes 
and spiritual blessings of God, bestowed upon 
them whom he hath fredy chosen. The 
love of God in itself can neither diminish 
nor increase, but it is mnlriplied, or abounds 
in the manifestation and effects of it ; so 
then, to desire grace to be multiplied to them, 
is to wish to dian the living spring of it, 
that love that cannot be exhaasted, but is 
ever flowing forth, and instead of idMting, 
makes each day richer than another. 

And this is that which ahould be the top 
and sum of Christian desires, to have, or want 
any other thing indifferently; but to be re- 
solved and resoluta in this, to seek a share in 
this grace, the free lore of God, and the aore 
evidences of it within yon, die fruit of heli- 
ness and the grace of his Sphit. But the 
most of us are otherwise tdken up : We 
will not be convinced howbasdyand fooU 
ishly we aae bodod, thou^ in die best and 
most respected employments of the wosid, so 
long aswene^ect our noblest trade of grow- 
ing rich in grace, and die comfbrtable en^ 
joyment of die love of God. Our Saviour 
tdls us of ofia thing naei^^tly iopoiting that 
all other things aee oempamdvaly unneces- 
sary, by-wraks, and mereimpertinencies; and 
yet hi these we Uvkdi out our short and nn^ 
certain rime, we let the other stand by till 
we find leisure. Hen who are altogether 
profone, think not on it at aU ; some others 
possibly deceive themselves thus, and say, 
When I have done with andi a business in 
which I am engaged, then I will sit down 
seriously to this, and bestow more time and 



vsfi.2.] 



THE- FIBST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



11 



paiof on thtte thingt ibiU «re imdflniably 
grettor aod better, tod mors worthy of it. 
But thU is a ali^t that it in danger to un- 
do us : What if ve attain not to the end 
of that busineosy but end oundves befine it ? 
or if we do not, yet some other business may 
Hep in after thaL Oh then^ say we^ ihat 
must be despatched alio. Thus, bysudi de- 
lays, we lose the present opportunity, and in 
tiie end omr own souls. 

Oh I be persuaded it deserves your dili- 
gence, and that without delay, to seek some^ 
wbat that may be constant enough to abide 
with you, and strong enough to upheld you 
in an conditions, and (hat is alone this fine 
grace and love of God. While many say, 
Who ufiU shew us any good $ set you in 
with David in his choice. Lardy lift thou up 
the Rffht of thy countenance ujnm me, and 
this shall rejoice my heaijrt more than the 
abundance qf com and wine, Paal. iv. 6, 7* 

This is that light that can break into the 
darkest dungeons, from which all other lights 
and ccanfbrts are shut out ; and without this, 
all other enjoyments are, what the world 
would be without the sun, nothing but dark- 
ness. Happy they who have tUs light of 
Divine fiivour and grace shining inio their 
souls; for by it they shaU be led to that city, 
where the sun and the moon are needless ; 
ibr Ifttf ylory of God doth lighten it, and 
the Lamb is the light thereof. Rev. xzi. 83. 

Godliness is pn^fitaMe for all things, 
iaith the apostle, having the pronsees of this 
life and that which is to come s all other 
blessings are the attendants of grace, and 
follow upon it. This blessing that the 
apostle here, and also St. Paul in his epis- 
tles^ joins with grace, was widi the Jews of 
so large a sense, as to comprehend all that 
they could desire ; when they wished peace, 
they meant all kind of good, all wdftre and 
prosperity. And thus we may take it here 
fat aQ kind of peace ; yea, and for all other 
blessings, but especially that spiritual peace, 
which is the proper fruit of gnoe, and doth 
so intrinaioaUy flow from it. 

We may and ought to wish to the church 
of God outward blessings, and particularly 
outward peace, as one of the gnaiest, so one 
of the most valuable fiivours of God t Thus 
pnyed the Psalmist, (PsaL eszii. 7.) Peaee 
be wUhit^ thy walls, and prosperity within 
thypaktcee* 

But that Wisdom that doth wliat he will, 
by what means he wiU, and works one oon- 
traiiety out of another, brings light out of 
darknesBj good out of evil, can and doth turn 
tears and troubles to the advantage of his 
church : butoertalidy in itself, peace is more 
snltsble to its increase, and, if not abused, 
proves so too. As in the apostolic times, it 
isBud, The church had pe<Ke and ineremed 
exceedingly. Acts Ix. 31, we ought also to 
with fbr ecdesiastiosi peace- to £e diureh, 



that she BMty be free from dkaensssBs and 
divisions.. 

- These readily arise more or less, as we see 
in all times, and haunt religion, md the ro- 
ftrmatson of it, as a malus genkus. St. Paul 
had this to say tohia Goiindiians, though he 
had given them diis testimony, that they were 
enriched in all utterance and knowkdge, and 
were wanting m no gift, 1 Cor. i. 6, yet pr». 
sently after, ver. 11, / hear ihat there are 
divisions and contentions among you. The 
enemy had dene Ais, as our Saviour speaks ; 
and this enemy is no fbol, for, by Divine 
permission,' he works to his own end very 
wisely : For there is not one thing that doth 
Ob all hands dioke the seed of rdigioo so 
much, as thorny debates and difoenoes 
about itself. So in succeeding ages, and at 
the breaking forth of the light in Germany 
in Luther*s time, multitudes of sects arose. 

Profane men do not only stumble, but foil 
and break their necks upon these divisions. 
We see, diink they, and some of them pos« 
sibly say it out, that they who mind religion 
most, cannot agree upon it ; our easiest way 
is, not to -embroil ourselves, nor at all to be 
troubled with the business. Many are of 
Ga]lio*b temper, they will core for wate of 
those things. Thus these ofienoes prove a 
mischief to the profane world, as our Sa- 
viour says, Woe to the world beeasue of 
offences* 

Then the erring side, that is taken wiA 
new opinions and fimcies, are altogether 
taken. up with them, theb main- thoui^tts 
spent upon them ; and thus the sssp is drawn 
fiom dnt which should nourish and prosper 
in their hearts, sanetified useful knewledge^ 
and samng grace. The other are as weeds, 
that divert the nourishment in gardens from 
die i^ants and flowers : And oertairdy these 
weeds, via, men*s own conceits, carmot but 
grow more with them, when they give way 
to them, dian solid religion doth ; fn dieir 
hearts, as one said of the* earth, are mothei 
to thoae, and but stepmother to diis. 

It is also a loss even to those that oppose 
errors and divisions, that they are forced to 
be busied that wayt For the wisest and 
godliest of them find, and such are sensiblie 
of it,' ihat disputes in religion are no fidends 
to that which is far sweeter in it ; but bin- 
den and abates it, vtjr.- these pious and de- 
vout thoughts, that are bodi the more useful, 
and truly delightful. 

As peace is a choice blessing, so this is 
the choicest peace, and ia the peculiar ins^ 
parable elfeet of this grace with which it la 
hare jointly wished, grace and peaee ; die 
flower of peaee growing upon the root of 
grace. This spiritual peace hadi two things 
in it. 1. Reconciliation widi Ood« 2. 
Tranquillity of spirit The qoaitel and mat. 
ter of enmity, you. know, betwixt God and 
man, is the rebellion, the sin of man ; and 



A C0M3iENTARY UPON 



fCHAP. t. 



lie htiaig natanJfy altogether einftil, thete 
can proceed nothii^^ from him, but what ib-. 
•jnenta and incieaief the hostility. It is 
gnce alone, ^e mostftee giaoe of Ood, that 
contriTeSy and oSets, and makes the peace, 
«l8e it had nerer been ; we had universally 
perished without it. Now in this is the 
wonder of Divine grace, that the Ahnigfaty 
God seeks agreement, and entreats Ibr i^ 
with sinful day, which he could wholly de- 
stroy in a moment. 

Jesus Christ the Mediator and purchaser 
tif this peace, bought it with his Uood, kill- 
cd the enmity by his own death, £ph. ii. 
15. And therefore the tenor of it in the 
Oospd runs still in his name, Rom. t. 1, 
We have peace wiih God through Jeeut 
Christ our Lord ; and St. Paul expresses it 
in his salutations, that are the same with 
this, Grace and peace from God the Fa^ 
ihery and our Lord Jeaue Christ. 

As the ftee lore and grace of Ood ap- 
pointed this means and way of our peace, 
and oflfered it; so the same grace applies 
it, and makes it ouis, and gives us taxiik to 
apprehend it. 

And from our sense of this peace, or re- 
concilement with Ood, arises that which is 
our inward peace, a csilm and quiet temper 
of mind. This peace that we have with 
Ood in Christ, is inviolable : But because 
the sense and persuasion of it may be inter- 
rupted, Ae soul that is truly at peace with 
Ood, may for a time be disquieted in itself, 
through weakness of faith, or the strength 
of temptation, or the darkness of desertion, 
losing sight of that grace, that love and light 
of Ooid's countenance, oo which its tranquil- 
lity snd joy depends ; '< Thou hidest thy 
fiux," saith David, « and I was troubled." 
But when these eclipses are over, the soul is 
revived with new consolation, as the fitoe of 
'the earth is renewed, and made to smile 
with the return of the sun in the spring ; 
and this ought always to uphold Christians 
in the saddest times, vur. that the grace and 
love of Ood towards them, depends not on 
their sense, nor upon any thingin them, but 
is still in itself incapable of the smallest al- 
tsration. 

It is natural to men to desire their own 
peace, the quietness and contentment of 
their minds : But most men miss the way to 
it, and therefore find it not ; for there is no 
way to it indeed, but this one, wherein few 
secic it, our. reconcilement and peace with Ood. 
The persuasion of that akme makes the mind 
dear and serene, like your fairest summer 
days : << My peace I give you," saith Christ, 
<< not as the world. Let not your hearts be 
troubled." All the peace and fevour of ihe 
world cannot calm a troubled heart; but 
where diis peace is that Christ gives, dl the 
trouble and disquiet of the world cannot dis- 
tiub it : " When he giveth quietncMy who 



then can make trouble ? and when he hidecii 
hisfiwe, who then can bdidd him? whe- 
dier it be done against a nation, or against a 
man only.** See also fbr this, PsaL xlvL 
czxiii. An outward distress to a mind thus 
at peace, is but as the rattlmg of the haU 
upon the tiles, to him that sits within the 
house at a sumptuous ffeast. A good ood- 
sdence is called so, and with an advantage 
that no other feast can have, nor eould men 
endure it. A few hours of feasting will 
weary the most professed epicure; but a 
consdence thus at peace is a eonHnmai feast, 
with continud unwearied delight. What 
makes the world take up such a prejudice 
against idigion, as a sour unpleasant thing ? 
They see the afflictions and griefs of Chris- 
tians ; but they do not see their joys, the in. 
ward pleasure of mind that they can possess 
in a very hard estate. Have you not tried 
other ways enough P Hadi not he tried 
them that had more ability and skill fbr it 
than you, and fbund them not only wtniiy, 
but vesoHan qf spirit $ It you have «ny 
belief of hdy truth, put but this once upon 
the trial, seek peace in the way of gnoe. 
This inward peace is too predous a liquor to 
be poured into a filthy vessd. A holy heart, 
that gladly entertains grace, diaU find, that 
it and peace clinnot dwdl asunder. 

An ungodly man may deep to death in 
the lethargy of camd presumption and imt^ 
penitency ; but a true Uvdy solid peace he 
cannot have : There is no peace to the wiek^ 
ed, saiih my God, Isa. hrii. 21. And if he 
say there is none, speak peace who will, if 
all the world with one voice would speak it, 
it shall prove none. 

2<%, Condder the measure of the apos- 
tle*s desire fbr his scattered brethren, that 
this grace and peace may be muMplied. 
This the apostle wishes for them, knowing 
the imperfection of the graces, and peace of 
the sdnts while they are here bdow ; and 
this they themsdves, in sense of that imperii 
fection, ardently dedre. They that have 
tasted the sweetness of this grace and peace 
call incessantly fbr more. This is a disease 
in earthly desires, and a dlMase incniable by 
all these things desired ; there is no satis^ 
fbction attdnable by them : But this avarice 
of spiritual things is a virtue, and by oar 
Saviour is called blessednessy because it 
tends to fulness and satisfaction. Blessed 
are they thai hunger and thirst after righ» 
teousnese, for they shall be JiUedy Matt. ▼. 9. 

Vaa. i, BloMd be the God sad FMher of oar 
Lord Jttm ChriM, who, ■coonUae to lik sInbi- 
dut mercy, hath begotten m agsm unto m lively 
hope, by the murrectlon of Jesus Christ ftom the 
dflMl, 

Van. 4. Tosn Inberitsnoe inoomiptil>le» sndua- 
deflled, asd thst fiuleth not ewmy, reserved fai 
nsBTsn tot yoQ* 

It is a odd lifeless thing to speak of ipi« 



▼EK.3.4.] 



TH£ KIBST EPI8TLJS Oh PETER. 



18 



litul thiDgv upoa mae repcvt: but they 
that speak of them, Mthehrown, u having 
than and interest in them, and loaie expe- 
lienos <tf theti sweetneta, their diacoone of 
them ia enlivened with fifm belief,- and ar« 
dent affection ; ^ey cannot mention them, 
bnt theix hearts are straight taken with such 
gladnees, as they are forced to Tent in 
pcaises. Thus our iqpostle here, and St. 
Paul, Eph. i. and often elsewhere, when 
they conaidered theae things wherewith they 
wen about to oomftrt the godly, to whom 
ibej wrote, they were suddenly devatad with 
the joy of them, and broke forth into thanks- 
giving ; so teaching us, by their example, 
what real joy there is in the consolations of 
the Gti^el, Mid what praise is due ftom all the 
saints to the God of time consolations. This 
is such an inheritance that the vaj thoughts 
and hopea of it are able to sweeten the great- 
est gri«Gi and afflictions. What then shall 
the possession of it be, wherein there riiaUbe 
no rupture^ nor the hast drop of any grief at 
an ? The main subject of these venes is, 
that which is the main comfint that supports 
the qpirits of the godly in all conditions. 

Is^ Their a/Hr inheriianee in vet. 4. 
2dlffy Thdr preteni Htls to it, and astured 
hope of it, Ter. 3. 3d/y, The immediaU 
pause of both assigned, visr. Jesut ChrUU 
iAijfy All this derived from the/re^ mercp 
^ Godf as the first and highest cause, and 
jfetumed to his present glory, as the last and 
highest Old of it. 

For the >Srt/, the inheritance J\ But 
because the fourth verse which describes it, 
is linked with the subsequent, we will not 
go so fiur off to return bade again, but first 
qfieak to this third verse, and in it. 

Consider^ 1. Thdr tiUe to thistfiA«rJ/aiM», 
Begotten again : 2. Their ateuranee of it, 
•ur. a holjf or lively hope. 

The title that the sainto have to thdr 
ridi inheritance ia of the validest and most 
unquestionable kind, vur. by birth. Not by 
thdr first natuxal birth : By it we are all 
ben to an inheritance indeed ; but we find 
what it is, Eph. U. 3, Children qf terathf 
hdn apparent of eternal flames. It is an 
everiasting inheritance too, but so much the 
more feaiAil, bdng of everiasting misery, or, 
so to speak, of immortal death, and we are 
made sure to it; they who remain in that 
condition cannot lose their right, although 
they gladly would escape it, they shall be 
forced to enter possession. But it is by a 
new and supexnatursl birth, that men are 
both freed firom their engagement to that 
woeful inheritance, and invested into the 
rights of this other, here mentioned, as full 
of happiness as the former is miserable : 
therefore are they said here to be begotten 
again to that livdy hope. God, the Father 
of our Lord Jesus Chiist, hath begotten us 
again. And thus are tins regenerate, the 



children of an Immortal Father, and so 
titled to an inheritance of immortality : J/ 
ehUdreny then heirs, heirs of God. This 
sonship is by adoption in Christ, therefore it 
is sdded, joint heirs teith Chrisig Rom. viii. 
17* We sdopted, and he the only-begotten 
Son of God, by an eternal ine&ble gene* 
ration. 

And yet this our adoption is not a mere 
eztrinucal denomination, as ia adoption 
amongst men ; but accompanied with a real 
change in those that are adopted, a new na» 
tore and spirit infiiaed into them ; by rea* 
son of which, as they are adopted to this 
thdr inheritance in Christ, they are likewise 
begotten qf God, and bom again to it, by 
the supernatural work of regeneraticm. They 
an like thdr heavenly Father, they have his 
image renewed on thdr souls, and their Fa« 
therms spirit. They have, and are acted^ 
and led by it. This' is that great mystery 
of the kingdom of God, and that pualed 
Nioodemus ; it was darknims to him at firsts 
till he was instructed in that ni^t, undsc 
the covert whereof he came to Christ. 

Nature cannot concave of any gcncsation 
or birth, but that which is within its own 
compass ; only they that are partaken of this 
spiritual birth, understand what it means { 
to otiien it is a riddle, an unsavoury, un« 
pleasant subject. 

It is sometimes ascribed to the subordi- 
nate means, to baptism, called therefore the 
laver qf regenertUiony Tit. iii. 6. To the 
word of God, Jam. i. 18. It is that inu 
mortal seed, whereby we are bom again, by 
the ministry of this Word, and the seds of 
it, as 1 Cor. iv. 15, << For though you have 
ten thousand instmctors in .Christ, yet have 
ye not many fothers ; for in Christ Jesus I 
have begotten you through the GospeL*' Aa 
alM^ GaL iv. 19. But aU those have thdz 
vigour and efficacy in this great woriE from 
the Father of spirits, who is their Father in 
their first creation and infusion, and in this 
thdr regeneration, which is a new and se* 
oond, creation, 2 Cor. v. 17, " If any man 
be in (^uist, he is a new creature." 

Divines have reason to infer firam the na« 
ture of converuon thus expressed, that maa 
doth not bring any thing to this work him- 
self. It is true he hadi a will, as his natu* 
ral faculty ; but that this will embraces the 
offer of grace, and turns to him that <^tn 
it, is firom renewing grace, that sweedy and 
yet strongly, strongly and jet sweetiy, in- 
clines it. 

1. Nature candot raise itself to this^ more 
than a man can give natural being to him- 
self. 2. It is not a superficial change, it ia 
a new Ufe and being. A moral man, in hia 
changes and reformations of himself, is still 
the same man. Though he reform so for, 
as men, in their ordinary phrase call him, 
gtUte another mani yet in truth, till he b» 



14 



A COMMENTABY UPON 



[OHA». t. 



tan agiiny thne is no nev natoie in him. 
*^ I%e Aa^gudi turns an his bed as the door 
on the hinges^'* says Soloman. Thus the 
natural man tonis firom one cnstom and pos- 
ture to another, but neTer tarns off: But 
the Ohristtan, by virtue of this fuw birih, 
«an say indeed. Ego nan sum effo, I am 
not the same man I was. 
■ Yon that are nobles, aspire to this ho- 
nourable condition, add this nobLeneas to the 
other, fiir it fiff surpasses it ; make it the 
4»iwn of sU your honours and adyantages. 
And you that are of mean birth, or if yon 
have any stain in your birtli, the only way 
to make up and r^nir all, and truly to en- 
noble y<m, is this, to be die sons of a king, 
yea, of the King of kings, and thU honour 
hav9 all hU gainU* To as many at f»- 
eHeed him, he gave this prioilege to be the 
tons of God, 

Unto a Uvelg hope.] Now are we the 
sons of Godj saith the apostle, 1 John iii. 2. 
Mut it doth not yet appear what we shall 
Ac These sons are heirs ; but all diis life- 
time is dichr minority ; yet even then, being 
partaken of this new birth and sonship, they 
have fight to it, and in the assurance oi that 
tight, Sii» IMng hope ; as an heir, when he 
is capable of those thon^ts, hath not only 
light of inheritance, but may rejoioe in the 
hope he hath of it, and please himself in 
thkAdng of it But hope is said to be only 
of an uncertain good : True, in the worid*s 
phrase it is so ; ibr their hope is conversant 
in uncertain things, or in thkigs that may be 
certain, alter an uncertain manner ; all dieir 
'worldly hopes are tottering, built upon sand, 
and their hopes of heaven are but blind and 
groundless conjectures ; but the hope of the 
sons of the living Qod, is a living hope. 
That which Alexander said when he dealt 
iibenlly about him, that he left hope to 
himself, the children of Qod may more wise- 
ly and happily say, when they kave the hot 
pursuit of the world to others, and despise 
it, their portion is hope. The thread of 
Alexander's life was cut off in the midst of 
his victories, and so all his hopes vanished ; 
bat their hope cannot die, nor disappoint 
fbem. 

' But then it is said to be lively, not only 
obfeetively, but ejpsetively, enlivening and 
eomfbrting the children of Ood in aU dis- 
tresses, enabling them to encounter and 
surmount all difficulties in the way. And 
then It is Ibrmeriy so, it cannot fUl, dies not 
befmAccompliahment. Worldly hopes often 
mod^en, and so cause them to be asham- 
ed, and men take it as a great blot, and are 
most €i an arfMuned of (hose things that dia- 
cover weakness of judgment in them. Now 
#oildly hopes do thus, they put the fbol 
upon a man t When bo bsth Judged him- 
self sure, and laid so much weight and ex- 
pcctatitnon theniy A<n they break, and M, 



him ; they ne net livlBg, but lying hopes, 
and dying hopes ; they die often btifore u% 
and we live to bury them, and see our own 
folly and infelicity in trusting to them ; but 
at die utmost, they die with us when we die, 
and can aoeompany its no further. But this 
hope answos ezpectadon to the full, and 
mudi beyond it, and deceives no way, but 
in that happy way, of fiu exeeeding it. 

A Hviny hope, living in death itself. 
The worid dare say no more Ibr its device, 
but dum spiro spero / but the children of 
God can add, by virtue of Hiis living hope^ 
dum extpiro spero. It is a fearftilthhi^ 
when a man and all his hopes die together; 
Thus saith Solomon oi the wicked, Ptov. 
xi. 1, when he dieth, then die his hopee^ 
many of them before, but at the utttiost them 
all of them ; but the ris^kieous hath hope in 
his death, Pinv. xiv. 82. Deadi alone, 
that cuts the sinews of aU other hopes, and 
turns men out of all odier inherltaiioes, fbl- 
flls this hope, and ends it in fhxidon ; as n 
messenger sent to bring the childfen of God 
home to die possession of their Inheritance. 

By the rmurreation of Christ from the 
detuU } This fefins to both hepotten again by 
his resumction, and having diis living hope 
by his resurrecdon ; and well suits both, it 
being the pn^r cause of both, in this order* 
First then of the birth ; next of the hope. 

The image of God is renewed in us by 
our union with him, who is the ejtprese 
image cf his FatherU person, Heb. i. 3. 
Therefore this new birth in the conception 
is expressed by the /< forming of Christ in 
the soul,*' GsL iv. 19, and resurreetion par« 
tieidariy is assigned as the eause of our neir 
life : This new birth is called our resurree^ 
tion, and that in eon^xmity to Christ, yea, 
by the virtue and influence of his. His resor« 
rection is called a birth, he the fint-begotteft 
i^m die dead, Rev. i. 6. And that pro- 
phecy, PsaL ii. 7, " Thoo art my Son, this 
day have I begotten thee^** is applied to hit 
resurrecdon as ftilfilled in it, Acts xiii. 83, 
" God hath fulfilled die same unto us dieir 
children, in that he hath raised up Jesus 
again ; as it Is also written in the second 
Piahn, Thou ait my Son, this day have I be* 
gotten thee.*' Not only ia it the exemj^ar, 
but the efficient cause of our new birth. 
Thus, Rom. vl. at large, and often eisewhere. 

And thus likewise it is the cause of our 
living hope, that which indeed Inspires and 
maintains lifb in it, because he hath con* 
quered death, and is risen again ; and that 
is implied which fbDowtth, he is ** set down 
at the right hand of Bod,** hadi entered into 
possession .of that InheritaBee : This gives 
as a living hope, that according to Ids own 
request, << wiiere he is, tliere we may be 
also*** Thus this hope is stron g ly imderset, 
on the one side by the res u irecd on of Christ, 
on the other by the abfOidMit mercy of God 



.9,f.l 



THE riRgt flPISTLB OP PETER. 



U 



the lather. Ov» hope depends not on our 
OTTB itiength or wisdom^ nor on any thing 
ia «s ; ftr if it did, it would bo short-lived, 
WonU die, and die ipiickly ; bat on liis re- 
snitectioD iriio can die no move : For, ** in 
that be died, be died unto sin onee ; but in 
that be livethi be Utretfa nnto God,*' Rom. 
«i. ID. This makes this hope not to Imply, 
iD tlie notfon of it, nnoertainty, as woASky 
hopes do{ but it is afinn, stable, inviolable 
hope, 9m emchorfis9d wi^n ih^ 9idl. 

Aocording to hig abundant mercy. '\ Mevey 
i% te spdng of aU Aiis ; yea, great mercy, 
and manifold mercy : < For,* as St Bcnard 
aatth, * gB^at sisis md great miseries need 
great meeey, and many sins and miseries 
need many mercies.* And is not this great 
Htcfcy, to make of Satan*8 slaves, sons of the 
Most High? Well may the apostle say, 
^hoU what manner of iove^ and hew great 
knte the Father haih shewed «s, that toe 
9h0aU be coiled the ecus ef God. The 
warid kumvs vt noi, because it knew not 
him. They that have not seen the fitther of 
a dtild, caumot knoir its resembling him. 
Jfoir the vodd knows not God, and there- 
Ibie dtaoems not his image in his cfa£kdren, 
so as to esteem them ftr it. Bat whatewr 
be their opinion, this we most si^ ourselves, 
Behold what manner of love is this, to take 
fise-bsands of heU, and to iqipoint them to 
be one day brighter than the son in the fir- 
naamen t ; to raise the poor out qf the dung* 
hUi^ and set dtem with prinees, PsaL cadii. 
7.8. 

Mhseed be this God and Father of our 
iMrd Jeeue Christ,\ Latdy, wesee it stirs 
up the apostle to piaise tiie God and Father 
«f oar Lord Jesos Christ This is die style 
of the Gospd, as finmecly under the law, the 
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the 
God that brought diee up oat of the land of 
Egypt, &C. This now is the order of the 
gonremmeat of giace, that it holds iiist with 
Christ aor head, and In him with as ; so'he 
saya, Igota my Father, and your Father, 
and my God, and your God. Which, as 
8t Cyril of Jerusalem in his catechism ob- 
serves, riiews us not only our commnnion 
%ith hiaa, that might haive been e % pit ssc d 
thus, I ga to my God and Father, bat the 
OEder of dteoofvenant, first xny Father, and my 
God, and then yours. Thus oon^t we, in our 
dBBsidcratioa of die mcrdes of God, still to 
lake in Christ, for in>hhn th^y are conveyed 
«9 as. Thus, fiph. i. 8, flTUh ail spiritual 
bUsoings in Christ Jesus. 
. Blessed,] He blesseth us really, bene* 
fqnAemde, benedieit. We bless him, by ac- 
knowledging his goodness, and this we ought 
to do at an times, PsaL xxxiv. 1. 1 will bless 
the Lord at all times, his praise shad cMi- 
Onaally be in my mouth. AU this is hx 
beknr hun and his mercies. What ave our 
pnlses in comparison qf his love ? No- 



thing, and less than nothing ; but tove wiH 
stammer rather than be dumb. They that 
are amongst his children, begotten again, 
have, in the KBUirection of Christ, a lively 
hope of gloiy, as It is, CoL i. 27, Which 
is Christ in you, the hope of glory. This 
leads them to observe and admire that rich 
mercy whence it flows ; and this eonsidera* 
tion awakes them, and strains them to \msk 
forth intopndses. 

To an iiiheritanee inoorruptibte. } Ash^ 
that taketh away a garment in eoldwea^ 
ther, and as vinegar upon Mtre, so is he 
that singeth songs to a heavy heart, Pror. 
zzv. 20. 

Woridly mirth is so ibr flom curing spi- 
ritual grief, that even worldly grief, where it 
is great, and takes deep loot, is not alUyed 
but Increased by it. A man that is foil of 
inwaid heaviness, the more he is compassed 
about with mirth, it exasperates and enrages 
his grief the more; like inefiectual w^k 
physic, that removes not the humour, bat 
stirs it, and makes it more unquiet : But 
spiritual joy is seasonable for aU estates ; in 
prosperity it is pertinent to crown and sane- 
tiiy all other enjoyments, with this that so 
fkr sorpasses them ; and in distress it is the 
only nepen^ie, the cordial of fiunting spirits ;. 
So, Psal. iv. 1, He htUh put Joy into my 
heart. This mlrdi makes way for itself, which 
other mirth cannot do ; these songs are sweet- 
est in tho night of distress. Therefore die 
aposde, writing to his scattered afflicted bre- 
thren, begins his episde with this song df 
pmise, Blessed be the God and Father, &c. 

The matter of it is, the jojrfld remem- 
brance of die happiness laid up for them, 
under the name of inheritance. Now this 
inheritance is described by the singular 
qualities of it. They contain, 1. The ez- 
cdleney «f its nature ; 2. The certainty of 
its attainment. The former in these three, 
incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth 
not away; die latter in the last words of 
this verse, and in the following, rese r c ed in 
heaven for you, &c. 

God is boimtiftd to aU, gives to all men 
all that they have, heidth, riches, honour, 
strength, beauty, and wit ; but those things 
he scatters^ as it woe, with an indifFerent 
hand. Upon others he looks, as well as on 
his belo^p^ children ; but the inheritance is 
peouliady theirs. Inheritance is convertible 
with sonship : For, Gen. xxv. 5. Abraham 
gave gifU to Keturah*s sons, and dismissed 
them $ but die inheritsnce was for the son of 
die promise. Mlien we see a man rising in 
piefttment, estate, or admired for ctft^ent 
gifts and endowments of nnnd, w^^think 
there is a hai^y man : But we consider not 
that none of afl those things are matter of in- 
heritanee ; within a while he is to be turned 
out of all, and if he have not somewhat be- 
yond all those to leek to, he is but a miser- 



1« 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[our.^s^ 



able many and bo much the mme mlsenble 
that ODce he seemed and was zeputed happy. 
There is a certain time wherein heixs come 
to poBsess. Thus it is with this inheritance 
too ; there is by the apostle mention made of 
a perfect man, unto the fneaetipe of the « to- 
ture ^ the fulne$s of Christ, £ph. iv. 13. 
And though the inheritance is rich and ho- 
ncuiable, yet the heir being young is held 
under discipline, and is more stricdy dealt 
with possibly than the servants^ sharply cor. 
zected finr that which is let pass in them : yet 
still even then, in regard of that which he is 
bom tOy his condition is much better than 
theirs, and all the correction he suffers pr^u. 
dices him not, but fits him fbr inheriting. .The 
love of our heavenly Father is beyond the 
love, of mothers in tenderness, and yet beyond 
the love of fathers, which are usually said to 
love more wisely, in point of wisdom : He 
will not undo his children, his heirs, with 
too much indulgence. It is one of his heavy 
judgments upon the foolish children of dis- 
obedience, that eiue ehaU alay them, and 
their prosperity shaii prove their destruction. 

While the diildren of Ood are childish 
and weak in fiuth, they are like some great 
heirs before they come to years of undei^ 
standing; they consider not their inheri- 
tance, and what they are to come to, have 
not their spirits elevated to thoughts worthy 
of their estate, and their behaviour conformed 
to it : but as they grow up in years, they 
come by little and little to be sensible of 
those things, and ihe nearer they come to 
possession, die more apprehensive they are 
of their quality, and what doth answerably 
become them to do : And this is the duty of 
such as are indeed heirs of gUxy, to grow in 
the understanding and consideration of that 
which is prepared for them, and to suit 
themselves as they are able, to those great 
hopes. This is that the aposde St. Paul 
prays for, for his Ephesians, chap. L ver. 18, 
• The eyes qf your understanding being en- 
Rghtened, that ye may know what is the 
hope qf his calling, and what the riches qf 
the glory of his irdieritanee in the saints. 
This would make them holy and heavenly, 
to have their oonoersation in heaven, from 
whence they look for a Saviour, That we 
may then the better know somewhat of the 
oigmty and riches of this inheritance, let us 
consider the description that is here given us 
of it. And first,.it is 

Incorruptible.] Although this seems to 
be much the same with the third quality, 
that fadeth not away, which is a borrowed 
expression for the illustrating of its incor- 
ruptibleness : yet I conceive there is some 
difference, and that in these three qualities 
there is a gradation. Thus it is called tn- 
eorruptible, that is, it perisheth not, cannot 
come to nodiing, is an estate that cannot be 
•pent; but though it were abiding, yet it 



might be such, as the eontiniiaiiee of It' 
not very desirable ; it would be but a misery 
at best to continue always in this Ufb. Flo* 
tinus thanked Ood diat his soul was not tiad 
to an inmioctal body. Then utuUrfUed^ it is 
not stained widi the least spot. This signl- 
fies the purity and peifeotion of it, that tiM 
perpetuity of it ; it doth not only abide, and 
is pure, but those together, ft abidedi always 
in its integrity. Ajad]MMtiyfitfadethnotatimyf 
It dothnotfiidenoKwidieratall, ianot soms- 
times more, sometimes less pleasant, but ever 
the same, still like Itself, and that U the Inu 
mutabiliQr of it. 

As it is incorruptihle, it carries it awsy 
from aU earthly possessions and inheritances ( 
fbr all those epidiets are intended to signiQr 
its opposition to the things of this worid, and 
to shew how ftr it excds them aU. And 
thus comparatively we are to consider it z 
For as divines say of the knowledge of Ood 
that we have here, the negative notion makes 
up a great part of it, we know rather what 
he is not, than what he is, infinite, incom- 
prdiensible, immutable, &c., so it is of diis 
hiqypiness, this inheritance, and indeed it is 
no other but Ood. We cannot tell you what 
it is, but we can say so fin* what it is not, 
as declares it is unspeakably above all dis 
most excellent things of the inferior world, 
and this present life. It is by privativcs, by 
removing imperfections from it, that we de- 
scribe it, and we can go no further, vis. !»• 
corruptible, undejiled, and that fadeth nei 
away. 

All things that we seebdng compounded, 
may be dissolved again ; the very visibls 
heavens, that are the purest piece of the ma« 
terial world, notwithstanding the pains ths 
philosopher takea to exempt diem, the Scrip- 
tures teach us that diey are oorrupHble, 
PsaL cii. 26, They shatt perish, but thou 
shalt endure ; yea, all of them shall wa» 
old like a garment ; As a vesture shalt thou 
change ^em, and ihey shall be changed. 
And from whence the apoetle to the Hebrews, 
(chap. i. 10,) and our apostle in his other 
episde, (dii^. iii. 11,) use the same expres- 
sion. But it is needless to fetch too great 
a compass, to evince the comniptihkness of 
sU inheritances. Besides what they are in 
themselves, it is a shorter way to prove them 
corruptible in relation to us, and our possess- 
ing them, by our own corruptibleness and 
corruption, or perishing out of this life in 
which we enjoy them. We are here inter 
peritura periiuri} the diings are passing 
which we enjoy, and we are passing who en- 
joy them. An esxthly inheritance is so 
called in regard of succession ; but to every 
one it is but at the most fbrtenu of life. As 
one of the kings of Spain answered to one of 
his courtiers, who, thinking to please hie 
master, wished that kings were immortal ; 
<If that had been,* said hc^ * I ahoold oever 



k 



Ttiu Sy 4.] 



THB PIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



IT 



have been king.* When death comes, that 
ranoves a man ont of all his possessions to 
giTe place to another ; therefbie are these in- 
heritances decaying and dying in reUtion to 
us, because we decay and die ;' and when a 
man dies, his inheritances and honours, and 
an things here, are at an end, in respect of 
him : Yea, we may say the world ends to 
him. 

Thns Solomon reasons, that a mane's hap- 
piness cannot be upon this earth ; because it 
mnstbesome durable abiding thing that must 
make him happy, abiding, to wit, in his en. 
joymcnt. Now, though the earth abide, yet 
beieanae man abides not on the earth to 
possess it, but one age drives out another, 
one generation passeth, and another comelh, 
^eiut unda impelHtur unda ; therefore his 
TCSt and his happiness cannot be here. 

UndefiUd.] All posSiessions here are de- 
filed and stained with many other defects and 
ftilings, still somewhat wanting, some damp 
on them, or crack in them ; fidr houses, but 
sad caies flying about the gilded and ceiled 
looft : stately and soft beds ; a fhll table, but 
a sickly body and queasy stomach. As the 
fiuiest &ce has some mole or wart in it, so 
an possessions are stained with sin, either in 
acquiring or in using them, and therefore 
ctS^mammonqfunrighteousneu, St. Luke 
zri. 9. Iniquity is so inydved in the no- 
doo of riches, that it can very hardly be 
separated fiom them. St. Hierom says, 
Vertmi mihi videtur illud, dives aui inu 
^us estj out iniqui hares. Foul hands 
pollute an they touch ; it is our sin that de- 
files what we possess ; it is sin that burdens 
the whole creation, and presses groans out of 
die veiyftame of die world, (Rom. yiii. 22,) 
For toe know that the u>hole creation groan- 
efft, and travaileth in pain together until 
now» This our leprosy defiles our houses, 
die YOf walls and floors, our meat and drink, 
and an we touch, polluted when alone, and 
poQnted in society, our meetings and conver- 
sadons together being fbr the greatest part 
nothing but a commerce and interchange of 
sin and vanity. 

We breathe up and down in an infected 
air^ and are very receptive of the infection, by 
cur own corruption within ns. We readily 
turn the things we possess here to occasions 
and instruments of sin, and think there is no 
fibcrty nor delight in their use, without abiis- 
in^ them. How few are they that can carry, 
aa they say, a fldl cop even ? that can have 
digesdon strong enough for the right use of 
^reat places and estates ? that can bear pre- 
KTznent withoot pride, and riches without 
cofTetoosnciiSy aud ease without wantonness ? 
Then as those esfthly inheritances are 
tfaJned with sin in their use $ so what grief, 
and strife^ sad eontendons, sbout obt^ning 
cv retaining them ? Doth not matter <vpo8» 
1, this sazpe meum and tuuiUy divide 



many dmes the affections of those who are 
knit together in nature, or ather strait ties, 
and prove the very apple of strife betwixt 
nearest friends ? 

If we trace great estates to their flrst ori« 
ginal, how few will be found that owe not 
their beginning, either to fraud, or rapine, 
or oppression ? and the greatest empires and 
kingdoms in the world, have had their foun- 
dations laid in blood. Are not those defiled 
Inheritances ? 

That toithereth not,] A borrowed speech, 
aUuding to the decaying of plants and flowers 
that bud and flourish at a certain time of the 
year, and then fade and wither, and in winter 
are as if they were dead. 

And this is the third disadvantage of pos- 
sessions, and all things worldly, that they 
abide not in one estate, but are in a more un- 
certain and irregular inconstancy, than either 
the flowers and plants of the field, or the 
moon, from which they are called sublunary ; 
like Nebuchadnezzar^s image, degenerating 
by degrees into baser metals, and in the end 
into a mixture of iron and clay. 

The excellency then of this inheritance is, 
that it is free from aU those evils, falls not 
under the stroke of time, comes not within 
the compass of its scythe, that hath so 
large a compass, and cuts down all other 
things. 

There is nothing in it weighing it to- 
wards corruption. It is immortal, everlast- 
ing, for it is the fruition of the immortal^ 
everlasting God, by immortal souls, and the 
body rejoined with it, shaU likewise be im- 
mortal, having put on incorruption, as the 
apostle speaks, 1 Cor. xv. 54. 

Thatfadeth not away,"] No spot of sin 
nor sorrow there, all pollution wiped away, 
and all tears witli it ; no envy nor strife, 
not as here among men, one supplanting 
another, one pleading and fighting against 
another, dividing this point of earth with fire 
and sword : No, this inheritance is not the 
less by division, by being parted amongst so 
many brethren, every one hath it all, each 
his crown, and all agreeing in casting them 
down before his throne, from whom they 
have received them, and in the harteony of 
his praises. 

This inheritance is often caUed a king- 
dom, and a crown of glory. This word may 
aUude to those garlands of the ancients, and 
this is its property, that the flowers in it are 
aU amartaUhety as a certain plant is named^ 
and so it is caHed, (I Pet. Y. 4,) a orown «)f 
ghry thatfadeth not avoay. 

No change at aU there, no winter an4 
summer, not like th^ poor comforts here, but 
a bliss idways flourishing* The grief c^ the 
saints bete, is not so much for this chaQges 
of outward tidngs, a9 of their inward com- 
fbrts. Suaois hora, sed brevis mora* 
Sweet presences of God they sometimes have ; 

B 



IS 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[CHAV. I, 



but tlicy are short and often i&tenupted : 
But ther0y DO doud shall come betwixt them 
and their sun : they shall behold him in his 
^ill brightness for ever. As there shall be 
no duuige in their beholding, so no weari- 
ness nor abatement of their delight in be- 
holding. They sing a new song, always the 
same, and yet always new. The sweetest of 
our music, if it were to be heard but for one 
whole day, will weary them that are most 
delighted with it. What wq have here, 
cloys, but satisfies not: The joys above 
never doy, and yet always satisfy. 

We ^ould here consider the last property 
of this inheritance, namely, the c$ria%nty of 
it. 

Reserved in heaven for jwu.] But that 
is connected with the following verse, and so 
will be fitly joined with it. Now fbr some 
use of all this. 

If these things were believed, they would 
persuade fbr themsdves ; we needed not add 
any entreaties to move you to seek after this 
inheritance : Have we not experience enough 
di the vanity and misery of things corrupti- 
ble ? and are not a great part of our disys 
already apent amongst them ? Is it not 
time to consider whether we be provided of 
any thing surer and better than what we 
have here, if we have any inheritance to go 
home to after our wandering ? or can say 
with the apostle, (2 Cor. v. 1,) We know that 
If our earthly house qf this tabernacle were 
aitsolvedy we have a buildinff qf God, an 
house not made with handsy eternal in 
the heavens* 

If those things gain our assent while we 
hear them, yet it dies soon ; scarce any re- 
tire themsdves after to pursue those thoughts, 
and to make a woriL indeed of them, but 
busy their heads rather another iray, build- 
ing castles in the air, and spinning* out their 
thoughts in vain contrivances, Happy are 
they whose hearts the Spirit of €K)d sets and 
fixes opan this inheritance ; they may join 
in with the apostle, and say as here, Blessed 
he the God and Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christy who hath begotten us again unto 
Mif lively hopey to this inheritance tncor- 
ruptihle, undefiledy and that fadeth not 
oway, 

Vsa.& Who«nkeptbythepow?rofGodt2)roiuh 
fkith unto MlYsUoOf ready to be revealed in me 
laetdiM. 

It Is no doubt a great contentment to the 
ddldren of God to hear of the excellendes <^ 
the life, to come ; they do not use to become 
weaiy <^ that subject ; yet there is one doubt, 
^bat, if it be not removed, nuty damp their 
deUgfat in hearing and considering of all 
the rest. The richer the estate is, it win 
the more kindle the malice and diligence of 
their enemies, to deprive (hem of it, and to 
cut them short of possessing it. And. this 



they know, that those q^tiial powen that 
seek to ruin them, do overinatch them fiu> 
botli in craft and fbrce. 

Against the fears of this, the aqpostle com- 
forts the heisB of salvation^ assuring thero^ 
that as the estate they look for is excellent^ 
so it is certain and safe, laid up there, whese 
it is out of the reach of adverse powers, rv- 
served in Jieaven for you. Besides, that 
this is a further evidence of the worth and 
excdlency of this inheritance ; it makes it 
sure ; it confirms what was said of its excd- 
lency ; for it must be a thing of greatest 
worth, that is laid up in the highest aqd 
best place of the world, namely, in heaven 
for you, where nothing that is impure once 
enters, much less is laid up and kept. Thus 
the land where this inheritance lies, makes 
good an that hath been spoken of the dig.*, 
nity and riches of it. 

But further, as it is a rich and pleasant 
country where it lieth, it hath this privilege^ 
to be die alone land of rest and peace, ftee 
fimn aU possibility of invasion. There ia 
no spoiUng of it, and laying it waste, and 
defadng its beauty, by leading armies into 
it, and making it the seat of war ; no noise 
of drums nor trumpets, no inundations of 
one people driving out another, and sitting 
down in their possessions. In a word, as 
there is nothing there subject to decay of it* 
sdf, so neither is it in danger of fraud or 
violence. When our Saviour speaks of thi« 
same happiness, (St. Matth. vi. 20,) in alike 
term, what is here caUed an inheritance, la 
there caUed a treasure. He expresses the 
permanency of it by these two, that it hath 
neither moth nor rust in itself to corrupt 
it ; nor can thieves break through and steal 
it. There is a worm at the root of aU our 
enjoyments here, corrupting causes withia 
themsdves ; and besides that, they are ex- 
posed to injury from without, that may de-> 
prive us of them. How many statdy pa- 
laces, that have been possibly diven years in 
building, hath fire upon a very smaU begin- 
ning destroyed in a few hours I "What great 
hopes of gain by traffic hath one tempest 
mocked and disappointed ! How many that 
have thought thdr possessions very sure, yet 
have lost &em by some trick of law ! ^d 
others, as in time of war, driven from them 
by the sword I Nothing f^ £Knn aU dan- 
ger, but this inheritanccy that is laid up in 
3ie hands of God, and kept in heaven fbr us. 
The highest stations in the world, namdy, 
the estate of kings, they are but mountains 
of prey, one robbing and spoiling another : 
But in that holy mountain above, there is. 
none to hurt nor spoil, nor offer violence., 
What the prophet speaks of the church here, 
•is more perfectly and eminently true of it, 
labove, Isaiah Ixv. 25. 

{ This is indeed a necessary condition 
x)f our joy in the thoij^hts of this happy 



▼EB. 5.] 



TH£ FIRST EPISTLB OF PfiTER. 



19 



ctCitey tliBt we h*Te soma pcnuaiioa d oiir 
proprietj, that It isoun; that we do not 
spoik and hear of it, as traveUen paaaing by 
»pileafluit place do hehold, and diacoume of 
xta hiT structuze, the sweetneae of the eeat, 
the planting, the gaidene, and meadows that 
are about it, and so pass on, having no fur- 
ther interest in it. But when we hear of 
this glorious inheritance, this treasure, this 
kingdom thatia purc^ and rich, and lasting ; 
we may add, it is mine, it is reserved in hea- 
ven, and reserved for me ; I have reserved 
die evidences, and the earnest of it ; and as 
it is kept safe ibr me, so I shall likewise be 
preserved to it, and that is the other part of 
the certainty that completes the comforts of 
iC See £ph. i. 14. 

The salvation that- Christ hath purchased 
i» indeed laid up in heaven, but we that seek 
after it, are on earth, compassed about with 
dangers and temptations. What avails it 
us, that our salvation is in heaven, in the 
place of safety and quietness, while we our- 
sdves are tossed upon the stormy seas of this 
woild, amidst rocks and shelves, evefy hour 
in haaard of shipwreck ? Our inheritance is 
in a sure hand indeed, our enemies cannot 
come at it : but they may over-run and de- 
stroy us at their pleasure, for we are in the 
midst of them. Thus might we think and 
complain, and lose the sweetness of all our 
other thoughts concerning heaven, if there 
were not as firm a promise fer our own safety in 
the midst of our dangers, as thexe is of the 
safety of onr inheritance, that is out of danger. 

The assunnce is full ; thus, it is kepi for 
us in heaven, and we kept on. earth for it ; 
as it is reserved for us, we are no less surely 
preserved to it. There is here, 1. The state 
itself, aalvoHon. 2. The preservation, or 
securing of those that expect it, kept. 3. 
The time of full possession, in the latt time. 

1. The estate unto «a/va^ion.] Before it 
is called ao inheritance ; here we are more 
particulazly told what is meant by that, 
namely, ealvetHon.' This is more expressly 
suie^ being a deliverance from misery, and 
it imports withal the possession of perfect 
happiness. The first part of our happiness 
b to be freed from those miseries to which 
we are subject by our guiltiness : To be set 
free from die curse of 3ie law, and the wrath 
of Ood, from everlasting death. 2. Frapi 
an kind of mortality or decaying. 3. From 
idl power and' stain of sin. 4. From all 
temptation. 5. From all the griefs and 
aSlietions of this life : To have the perfection 
of gnce, to be full of holiness, and the per- 
fection of bliss, full of joy in the continual 
vision of Ood. But how little are we able to 
aaj of this, our apostle here teacheth us, 
that it is veiled to us ; only so much shines 
through, as we are capahle of here : but the 
revealed knowledge of it is only in the pos- 
seaaion ; it is to ^ revealed in Me kui time. 



And^ 8d%f, Their piesenratieB, with dfo 
causes of it, kepi by the power ef Odd 
through faith. The inheritance is kept net 
only in safety, but m ^lietneis. The tMk>. 
dren of Ood for whom it is kept, while ihey 
are here, are kept safe indeed, but not on^ 
molested and unassaulted, they have enemies, 
and such as are stiiiing,' and cunning, and 
powerful ; but in the midst of them, they 
are guarded and defended; Uiey perish 
not, according to the pmyer of our Sa- 
viour poured out for them, (John xvii. 16.) 
I pray not thai thou thouldeei take ikem 
out of the worldy but thai thou ehouldeei 
keep them from the evil. 

They have the prince of the power of the 
air, and all his armies, all the feiees he eaa 
makcy against them. Though his power is 
nothing but tyranny and usurpation, yet be« 
cause once they were unda his yoke, he be* 
stirs himself to pursue them, when they are 
led forth from their captivity, as Exod. xiv. 
5, 9, Pharoah, with all his chariots, and 
hones,- and honemen, pursues after the 
Israelites going out of Egypt. 

The word in the origkial, ^^•v^Mo^Hfir, 
there translated kept, is a militaiy tenn, 
used for those who ne kepi as in a fbtt or 
garrison-town besieged. So Satan is stffl 
raising batteries against this fort, niing aH 
ways to take it by strength or ntttOmgem ; 
unwearied in hia assaults, and very skiUbl t6 
know his advantages: and where we are 
weakest, there to set on. And besides all 
this, he hath intdligence with a party within 
us, ready to betray us to him ; so that it wem 
impossible for us to hold out, were diete not 
another watch and guard thsi our own^ and 
other walls and bulwarks than any that our 
skill and induatry can raise for our own de« 
fence. In this then is our safety, that thov 
is a power above our own, yea, and above all- 
our enemies, that guards us, siilvation itself 
our wolfs and bulwarks. We ought to 
watch, but when we do in obedience to our 
Commander, the Captain of our aalvation, 
yet it is his own watching, -who sleeps not,' 
nor so much as slumbers ; it is that pre* 
serves us, and makes ours not to be in vain, 
Psal. cxxi. 1. Isa. xxvii. 3. And there* 
fore those two are jointly commanded. 
Watch and pray^ thai ye enter not into 
temptation. WcUch, there is the necessity 
of our diligence : Pray^ there is tlie insuf- 
ficiency of it, and the necessity of his watdi* 
^& hy whose power we are effectually pre* 
served, and that power is our fort, Isa. xxvi. 
]. Salvation hath God appointed for 
walls a$ul bulwarks ; What more safe than 
to be walled with salvation itself ? so, Prov. 
xviil. 10, The name cf the Lord is a 
strong tower ; the righteous fly into </, 
and are safe. 

Now the causes are two : 1. Supreme) iho 
power qf ^odf 2. Subordinate, faith.' 



A COMMENTARV UPON 



[ClIAV. t. 



Tlie inpicme power ^ Gody is that on wMch 
depends our stability and perseverance. 
When we consider how weak we are in oor- 
fldves, yea, the very strongest amongst us, 
and how assaulted, we wonder, and justly 
we may, that any can continue one day in 
the state of grace : But when we look on the 
strength by which we are guarded, the power 
of God ; dien we see the reason of stability 
to the end : for omnipotency supports us, 
and the ererlasting arms are under us. 

Then faith is Uie second cause of our pre- 
servation ; because it applies the first cause, 
the power of God. Our &ith lays hold 
upon his power, and this power strengthens 
fidth, and so we are preserv e d-; it puts us 
within those waUs, sets the soul within the 
guard oi the power of God, which by self- 
confidence, and vain presuming in its own 
strength, is exposed to all kind of danger. 
Faith is a humble, self-denying grace, ms^es 
the Christian nothing in himse^, and all in 
God. 

The weakest persons that are within a 
strong place, women and children, though 
they were not able' to resist the enemy, if 
they were alone ; yet so long as the place 
wherein they are is of sufiScient strength, 
and well manned, and every way accommo- 
date to hold out, they are in safety ; thus the 
weakest believer is safe, because by believ- 
ing he is witliin the strongest of all defences. 
Faith IS the victory, and Christ sets his 
strength against Satan*s; and when the 
Christian is hard beset with some tentation, 
too strong ibr himself, then he looks* up to 
him that is the great conqueror of the powers 
of darkness, and calls to him, " Now, Lord, 
assist thy servant in this encounter, and put 
to thy strength, that the glory may be thine.'* 
Thus fiiith is such an engine as draws in 
the power of God, and his Son Jesus, into 
ihe works and conflicts that it hath in hand. 
Thie i$ our victory, even ourfaith, 1 John 
▼.4. 

It is the property of a good Christian to 
magnify the power of God, and to have high 
diottghts of it, and therefore it is his privi- 
lege to find safety in that power. David 
cannot satisfy himself with one or two ex- 
pressions of it, but delights in multiplying 
them, (Psal. xviiL 2.) The Lord ie my 
roek, and my fortresty arid my deliverer, 
tny God, my atrength, in whom I will 
triut, my buckler, and the horn of my 
ealvation, and my high tower. Faith looks 
above all, both that which the soul hath, and 
that which it wants, and answers all doubts 
and fears with this almighty power upon 
which it rests. 

Sdly, The time of f^ill possession, ready 
to be revealed in the kut Hme.} This 
salvation is that great work wherein God in- 
tended to manifest the glory of his grace, 
euntrived before timcj and in the several ages 



of the world brought forward, after the de- 
creed manner ; and the full accomplishment 
of it reserved fbr the end of time. 

The souls of the fiiithful do enter into the 
possession of it, when they remove from 
their houses of day ; yet is not their happi- 
ness complete till that great day of the ap- 
pearing of Jesus Clirist ; they are naturally 
imperfect till their bodies be raised, and re- 
joined to their souls, to partake together of 
their bliss : And they are mystically imper- 
fect, till all the rest of the members of Jesus 
Christ be added to them. 

But then shall their joy be absolutely full 
when both their own bodies and the m3rstical 
body of Christ shall be glorified, when all 
the children of that glorious &mily shall 
meet, and sit down to that great marriage 
supper at their Father** table. Then shall 
the music of that new song be full, when 
there is not one wanting of those that are 
appointed to sing it for eternity. In that 
day shall our Lord Jesus be glorified in hie 
saints, and admired in all them that be^ 
lieve, 2 Thess. i. 10. 

You see what it is that the gospel oflTers 
you, and you may gather how great both 
your fblly and your guiltiness will be, if you 
neglect and slight so great salvation when it 
is brought to you, and you are intreated to 
receive it : This is all that the preaching of 
the word aims at, and yet who hearkens to it ? 
How few lay hold on this eternal life, this 
inheritance, this crown that is held fbsrth to 
all that hear of it ? 

Oh ! that you could be persuaded to be saved^ 
that you would be willing to embrace salvation. 
You think you would ; but if it be so, then 
I may say, though you would be saved, yet 
your custom of sin, your love to sin, and love 
to^ the world, will not suffer you : And these 
will still hinder you, unless you put on holy 
resolutions to break through them, and tram- 
pie them under foot, and take this kingdom 
by a hand of violence, that God is so well 
pleased with ; he is willingly overcome by 
that force, and gives this kingdom most will- 
ingly where it is so taken ; it is not attained 
by slothfulness, and sitting still with folded 
hands ; it must be invaded with strength of 
faith, with armies of prayers and tears ; and 
they that set upon it dius arc sUre to take it. 
Consider what we are doing, how we mis- 
place our diligence on things that abide not, 
or we abide not to enjoy them. We have 
no abiding city here, (saith the apostle) ; 
but he adds, that which comforts the citi. 
sens of the new Jerusalem, we look for one 
to come, whose builder and maker is God. 
Hear not those things idly, as if they con - 
cerned you not, but let them move you to 
resolution and actions ; say as they said of 
Canaan, It is a good land, let us go up 
and possess it. Leam to use what you 
have here as travellers, and let yoar homey 



«! 



THE FIRST £PISTL£ OF P£T£R. 



91 



yoar lidiaitanee, your tzMiuie lie on high, 
vfaiefa to by &r the richest and the safest ; 
and if it be ao with yon, then, where your 
irmuurs ity there teUl fftmr hearts he also. 



there is nothing in the words, that may not 
agree to all sorts of temptations the godly are 
subject to, yet I conceive it is particularly 
meant of their afflictions and distresses, as the 
apostle James likewise uses it, ch. i. ver. 2. 

And they are so called, because they give 

particular and notable proof of the temper of 

a Christianas spirit, and draw forth evidence 

Thk same motives cannot b^et contrary | both of the truth, and the measure of the 

grace that is in them. If they fail and are 



Wherein ye greatly T«)oloe, thouch now 
eed be) yeve In hcBTioaK tnraugh 



Vaa. «. 
fbraMMOO (ifn 
mmifold texnptatJons. 



paasioDS in the soul, therefore the apostle re- 
dnoea the mixture of sorrowing and rejoicing 
that is usual in the heart of a Christian, to 
te different causes of both, and shows which 
of the two hath the stranger cause, and there- 
Ar is always predominant. 

His scope is to stir up and strengthen 
nizitual joy in his afflicted brethren ; and 
therefine having set the matter of it before 
diem in the preceding verses, he now applies 
it, and ezprnsly opposes it to their distresses. 
Some read, those words exhortatively, In 
which rejoice ye. It is so intended ; but I 
eonceiTe it serves that end better indicatively, 
as we now read it, in which ye rejoice. It 
exhorts in a more insinuating and persuasive 
manner, that it may be so, to urge it on them 
that it is BO. Thus St. Paul, (Acts xxvi. 
27* ) King Ayrippa, believest thou the pro- 
phets f I know that thou believest. And 
straight he answered, Thou almost perstuuU 
estme to be a Christian, This implies how 
JQSt, and how reasonable it is, that die things 
spoken of should make them glad ; they will 
rqoioe in those, yea do rejoice. Certainly if 
yoQ know and consider what the causes of 
year joy are, ye cannot choose but find it 
widiin yon, and in such a measure as to 
swallow up all your temporary sorrows, how 
great and how many soever their causes be. 
We are then to consider severally those 
bitter waters and sweet, this sorrow, and 
this joy, I. In their springs ; 
streams. 

And first they are called temptations and 
manifold temptations. The habits of divine 
supernatural grace are not acquirable by hu- 
man study, or industry, or by exercise, they 
are of immediate infusion from heaven ; yet 
an they infused to that end, that they may 
aet and exercise themselves in the several 
conditions and occurrences of a Christian*s 
fife, and by that they grow stronger. Wliat- 
soever oppositions or difficulties grace meets 
with in its acting, go under this general name 
of temptations. It is not necessary to reckon 
up the variety of senses of this Word in its 
fbn latitude, how God is said to tempt man, 
and how it is said that he tempts him not ; 
how man tempts God, and how it is said that 
God is not tempted ; how Satan tempts men, 
and men one another, and a man himself. 
An those are several acceptations of this word. 
But the temptations here meant, are the 
ihings by which men are tempted> and par 



foiled, as sometimes they are, this convinces 
them of that human frailty and weakness that 
is in them, and so humbles them, and drives 
them out of themselves to depend upon an- 
other for more strength and better success in 
after encounters. If they acquit themselves 
like Christians indeed, the Liord managing 
and assisting that grace which he hath given 
them, then dl their valour, and strength, and 
victories, turn to his praise, from whom they 
have received all. 

A man is not only uxiknown to others, but 
to himself, that hath never met with such 
difficulties, as require fiuth and Christian 
fi^tude and patience to surmount them. 
How shall a man know whether his meek- 
ness and calmness (^ spirit be real or not, 
while he meets with no provocation, nothing 
that contradicts or crosses him ? But when 
somewhat sets upon him, that is in itself very 
unpleasant and grievous to him, and yet if in 
that case he retains his moderation of spirit^ 
and flies not out into impatience, neither 
against God not men, this gives experiment 
of the truth and soundness of that grace in 
him ; whereas standing water that is clear at 
top while it is untouched, yet if it have mud 
at the bottom, stir it a little and it rises pre. 
sently. 

It is not altogether unprofitable, yea, it is 
much wisdom in Cliristiana, to be arming 
themselves against such temptations as may 
befal them hereafter, though they have not 
as yet met with them ; to labour to overcome 
them before-hand, to suppose the hardest 
things that may be incident to them, and to 
put on the strongest resolutions they can at* 
tain unto ; yet SSi this is but an imaginary 
effiirt ; and therefore there is no assurance 
that the victory is any more than imaginary 
too, till it come to action, and then they that 
have spoken, and thought very confidently, 
may prove but (as one said of the Athenians) 
fortes in tabula, patient and courageous in 
picture or fancy ; and notwithstanding all 
their arms, and dexterity in handling them 
by way of exereise, may be foully defeated 
#hen they are to fight in earnest. Tlie 
children oi Ephraim being armed, and cany- 
ing bows, says the Psalmist (Psal. Ixxviii* 
9,) yet turned back in the day of battle. It 
is the battle that tries the soldier, and the 
storm the pilot. How would it appear that 
Christians can be themselves, not only patient, 
ticuiarly the saints of God.' And thiUghlbut cheerful in poverty, in disgrace, an4 



2. In their 



n 



A COMMBNTARV UPON 



[CHir.x. 



femnta^oniy and penocutloiiSy if it were not 
often theii lot to meet with those ? He that 
Jxamed die heart knows it to he hut deceit^, 
and he that gives grace knows the weakness 
and strength of it exactly ; yet he is pleased 
to speak thus, that hy afflictions and hard 
tasks he tries what is in the hearts of his 
children. For the word of Ood speaks to 
men, and therefore it speaks the langnage of 
the children of men : Thus Gen. xxii. 12, 
^ow I know that thou feareat Gody seen 
ing thou hast not withheld thy soUf thine 
only Sony from me, 

Ood ddights to call forth his champions 
to meet with great temptations, to make them 
bear crosses of more than ordinary weight ; 
as commanders in war put men of most va- 
lour and skill upon the hardest services. Ood 
sets some strong furious trial upon a strong 
Christian, made strong by his own grace ; 
and by his victory, makes it i^peai to the 
world, that though -there is a great deal of 
the counterfeit coin of profession in religion, 
yet some there are that have the power, the 
reality of it, and that it is not an invention, 
but there is truth in it ; that the evincible 
grace, the very Spirit of Ood, dwells in the 
hearts of true believers ; that he hath a num- 
ber, that do not only speak big, but do in- 
deed, and in good earnest, despise the world, 
and overcome it, by his strength. Some men 
take delight to see some kind of beasts fight 
together ; but to see a Christian mind en- 
countering some great affliction, and con- 
quering it ; to see his valour in not sinking 
at the hardest distresses of this life, nor the 
^ost afftightful end of it, the cruellest kinds 
of death, for his sake ; this, as one said, dig- 
Hum Deo speotaeuium, this is a combat that 
Ood delights to look upon, and he is not a 
mere behddeT in it ; for it is the power of his 
own grace that enables and supports the 
Christian in all those conflicts and tempta* 
tions. 

Thrrmgh manifold temptations.] This 
expresses a multitude of temptations, and 
those too of divers kinds, many and manl- 
ibid. It were no hard condition to have a 
trial now and theta, with long ease and pro- 
sperity betwixt ; but to be plied with one 
affliction at the heels of another, to have them 
come thronging in by multitudes, and of 
different kinds, uncouth unaccustomed evils, 
such as a man hath not been acquainted with 
beftre, this is that which is often the portion 
of diose that are the beloved of God, (Psalra 
xlii. 7*) Deep oalleth unto deep, at the 
noise if thy water-spouts ; all thy waves 
and thy billows are gone over me. 

Ye are in heaviness.] This the apoftle 
blames not, but alms at the moderating of it. 
Seek not altogether to diy np this stream, 
but toboimd it, and keep it within its banks. 
Gnce doth not destroy the Ufb of nature, but 
«ddB to it a \ih more excellent, yea, gtace 



dodi not only ponait* b«t ^etgehm 
ing of afflictions. There is an affected piide 
of spirit in some men, instead of padnifie $ 
suitable to the doctrine of the Stoics, as it is 
usually taken, they strive not to feel at all 
the afflictions that axe on them : but this ia 
to despise the correction qf the Lord, whidi 
is alike forbidden m fainting under it, Heb. 
xiL We should not stop our ears, bat hear 
the rod and him that hath appointed ity •« 
the prophet speaks, Mic vi. 9. Where than 
Is no feeling at aQ, thcie can beno padenee. 
Consider it as the hand of Ood, and heaee 
argue the soul into submisaion, (PsaL xzxiac 
9.) / was dumb, J opened not my mou0s, 
because thou didst it. But this heavinesa 
it mitigated, and set as it were within its 
banks, betwixt these two ooosiderations : 1. 
The utUity ; 2. The brevity of it. The 
profitableness, and the shortness of it. 

To a worldly man great gain sweetoM the 
hardest labour ; and to a Christian, sphilnal 
profit and advantage may do much to move 
nim to take with 3iose afflictions well that 
are otherwise very unpleasant, though lAey 
are not joyous for the present f yet thia 
allays the sorrow of them, the firuit that 
grows out of them, that peaceable firuU q/" 
righteousness, Heb. xii. 11. 

A bundle qf folly is in the heart qf a 
child, but the rod of correction shall beat it 
out, saith Solomon. Though the children 
of Ood are truly, as our Saviour calls tbam, 
the children of wisdom ; yet being renewed 
only in part, they are not idtogether free fiNnn 
those follips that call for this rod to beat 
them out, and sometimes have such a bun- 
dle of follies, as require a bundle of rods to 
be spent upon it, many and manifold ^fflie^ 
tions. 

It is not an easy matter to be drawn ftom 
nor to be beaten fkun the love of this world, 
and this is that which Ood mainly requirsa 
of his children, that they be not in love with 
the world, nor the things of it ; for that la 
contrary to the love of Ood, and so far as 
tliat is entertained, this is wanting* And H 
in Uie midst of afflictions they are some- 
times subject to this disease, how would it 
grow upon them with ease and prosperity ? 
When they are beaten from cme worldly 
folly or delight, they are ready, through na- 
ture's corruption, to lay h<ud upon soma 
other, being thrust out ftom it at one door, 
to enter at some other : And 9A children 
unwilling to be weaned, if one breast be im- 
bittered, they seek to die other ; and thera- 
fore there must be somewhat to drive from 
that too. Thus it is clear, there is need, 
yea great need, of afflictions, yea of many 
afflictions, that the saints be chastened ^ 
the Lord, that they may not be condemned 
with the world, I Cor. xi. 32. 

Many resemblances there are fbr illustnr- 
tloD of this truths in things both of nature 



▼sa. 6.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



and of art; Mune common, and othen 
dioicer; but these are not needfuL The 
experience of Christians tells them, how 
easily they grow pnmd, and secnie, and car- 
nal, with a little ease, and when outward 
things go smoothly with them ; and theie- 
ibre what unluppuiess were it for them to be 
▼ay happy that way ? 

Ijet us leam then, that in regard of our 
piesent firailty there is need of afflictions, 
and so not promise ourselves exemption, 
how calm soever our seas are for the present ; 
and then for the number, and measure, and 
weight of them, to resign that wholly into 
the hands of our wise Father and Phydcian, 
who peffectly knows our mould, and our 
maladies, and what kind and quantity of 
chastisonent is needful for our cure. 

Though now for a geaton (\f need he) 
ye are in heainnt$$,\ The other conside- 
ration that modeiates this heaviness is its 
shortness. Because we willingly forget 
eternity, therefore this moment seems much 
in OUT eyes ; but if we could look upon it 
aright, of how little concernment is it, what 
be our eondkloD here ! If it were as prospe- 
rous as we could wish or imagine,, it is but 
for a tittle teuton ; the rich man in the gos- 
pel talked of many years, but Thou fooly 
thit. night ihaXl fhy tout he required of thee^ 
was the longest period. The many years 
quiddy drawn to a very great abatement, 
and, if full of pains and griefs, those do hdp 
to put an end to themselves, and hasten to 
it. Then wdl might St. Austin say. Hie 
tnv, oiede^ mode ibi pareat. Use roe here 
as pleaseth thee, so as that hereafter it may 
be well with me. 

Wherein»\ This word, though it can- 
not fon amiss, being referred to any particu- 
lar to which interpreters have appropriated 
it, yet it is rather to be taken as relative to 
€bit whole complex sense of the preceding 
▼enea, oooceming the hope of glory. In 
fliis thing ye rejoice, that ye are begotten 
again, tlmt there is such an inheritance, and 
that you are made heirs of it ; that it is kept 
for you, and you for it; that nothing can 
come betwixt you and it, to disappoint you 
of possessing and enjoying it, though there 
be many deserts and moimtains, and seas in 
Ihe way, yet you are ascertained, that you 
shall come safely thither. 

This is but one thing, but the cause of 
your grief is tempiationt and manifold 
temptationtf yet ibis one thing weighs down 
all that multitude ; the heart being grieved 
in one thing, natiuaJly looks out for its ease 
to some other; and diere is usually some- 
what that is a man*s great comfort, that he 
turns bis thoughts to, when he is crossed and 
afflicted in other things : But herein lies the 
folly of the world, that the things they 
choose for £heir re^ge and comfort, are such 
as may change themselves, and turn into 



discomfort and sorrow ; but the godly man^ 
that is, the fool in the natural man's eyes, 
goes beyond all the rest in his wise choice 
in this. He rises above all that is subject 
to change, casts his anger within the vaiL 
That in which he rejoiceth u still matter of 
joy unmoveable and unalterable, though not 
otdy his estate, but the whole worid, were 
turned upside down, yet this is the same, or 
rather in the Psalmist's words, Though the 
earth were removed^ and the greatett 
mountaint catt into the tea^ yet will not 
we fear, Psal. xlvi. 2. When we shall 
receive that rich and pure, and abiding in- 
heritance, that snlvation that shall be reveal- 
ed in the last time, and when time itself 
shall cease to be, then there shall be no more 
reckoning of our joys by days and hours, 
but they shall run pandlel with eternity. 
When all our love, that is scattered and 
parcelled out upon the vanities amongst 
which we are here, shall be united and ga- 
thered into one, and fixed upon God, and tha 
soul filled with thd delight of his presence. 

The sorrow was limited and bounded by 
these considerations we spoke of: but this 
joy, this exultation, and leaping for joy, fbr 
so it is, is not bounded, it cannot be too 
much ; its measure is to know no measure. 
The afflictions, the matter of heaviness, are 
but a transient touch of pain ; but that 
whet^n this joy Is built is most permanent, 
the measure of it cannot exceed, for the 
matter of it is infinite and eternal, beyond 
all hyperbole. There is no expression we 
have ean reach it, much less go beyond it ; 
itself is the hyperbole, still surpassing all 
that can he said of it Even in the midst of 
heaviness itself, such is this joy that can 
maintain itself in the depth of sorrow ; ihii 
oil of gladness still swims above and cannot 
be drowned by all die floods of affliction, yea, 
it is often most sweet in the greatest distress. 
Then die soul relishes spiritual joy best, 
when it is not glutted with worldly delightSy 
but finds them turned into Vittemess. 

For application.^ In that we profess our- 
selves Christians, we all pretend to be the 
sons of Ood, and so heirs of this glory ; and 
if each man were particularly asked, he 
would say^ he hoped to attain it : But if 
there were nothing else, this may abimdant- 
ly convince us, that the greatest part of ns 
delude ourselves, and are deceived in this | 
for hdw fow are there that do really find this 
hei^-ht of joy, gladness, and exultation, in 
their thoughts and hopes of it, that do daily 
more refresh and glad themselves with the 
consideretion of tlutt which is laid up fbr 
them above, than with all their enjoymenta 
here below ! 

Consider how the nen^s of some small out* 
ward advantage that is to come to us, raises 
our light vun hearts, and makes them leap 
within ui ; and yet this news of a kingdoift 




A COMMENTARY UPON 



I 



• f. 



if we be indeed beUeven, 

; hearts are as little affected 

concerned us not at all : and 

k an evidence against us, that 

iems us not, our portion as yet 

In *. > fool*s paradise will men be with 
the thoughts of worthless things, and such 
things too as they shall never obtun, nor 
ever shall have any further being than what 
they have in their fancy ! And how will 
men frequently roll over in their minds the 
thoughts of any pleasing good they hope 
for ! And yet we that say, we hare hopes 
of the glory to come, can pass many days 
without one hour spent in the rejoicing 
thoughts of the happiness we look for. If 
any of a mean condition for the present were 
made sure to become very rich, and be ad- 
vanced to great honour within a week, and 
afi^r that to live to a great age in that high 
estate, enjoying healdi and all imaginable 
pleasures ; judge ye, whether' in the few 
days betwixt the knowledge of those news 
and the enjoying them, the thoughts of what 
he were to attain to, would not be frequent 
with him, and be always welcome. There 
is no comparison betwixt all we can imagine 
this way, and the hopes we speak of: and 
yet how seldom are our thoughts upon those, 
and how faint and slender is our rejoicing in 
them ! Can we deny that it is unbelidT of 
those things that causeth this neglect and 
forgetting of them ? The discourse, the 
tongue of men and angels, cannot beget di- 
.vine belief of the happiness to come ; only 
he that gives it, gives faith likewise to ap- 
prehend it, and lay hold upon it, and upon 
our believiD^ to be filled with joy in the 
hopes of iL 

Vaa. 7. That the trial of vnur fUth, being mudi 
more preclotu thsn of goUi that periaheth, though 
Jt be tried with fire, ought be found unto praise, 
and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jeiua 
Christ 

" The way of the just," says Solomon, 
<' is as the shining light, that shineth more 
and more to the perfect day.*' Still mak- 
ing forward, ^nd ascending towards perfec- 
tion, moving as fast when they axe clouded 
with affliction as at any time dse ; yea, all 
that seems to work against them, furthers 
them. Those graces that would possibly 
grow heavy and unwieldy by too much ease, 
are held in breath, and Increase their acti- 
vity and strength by conflict. Divine grace, 
even in the heart of weak and sinful man, is 
an invincible thing. Drown it in the waters 
of adversity, it rises more beautiful, as not 
being drowned indeed, but only washed ; 
throw it into the furnace of fiery trials, it 
comes out purer,, and loses nothing but the 
dross, which our eonupt nature mixes with 
Jt. Thus here the apostle expounds the {f 
M0d be of the former verse, and so justifies 



the joy in afflictions, which these he 
of, by their utility and fkith*8 advantage hy 
them ; it is so tried that it shall appear in 
its full brightness at the revelation of Jesos 
Christ. 

The peculiar treasure of a Christian being: 
the grace that he receives ftmn. heaven, and 
particularly that sovereign grace of faith, 
whatsoever he can be assured will better him 
any way in this, he will not only bear it pa- 
tiently, but gladly embrace it, Rom. t. 3. 
Therefore the apostle sets this before his 
brethren in those words of this verse, where 
is, 1. The worth and excellency of fidth ; 
2. The usefulness of temptations in relatioa 
to it. 

It/, The worth and excellency of fiuth. 
The trial of faith is called more precious, m 
woik of more worth than the trial of gold, 
because fkith itself is of more value than 
gold : The apostle chooses this comparison, 
as fitting his purpose for both, for the fflus- 
tration of the worth of faith, and likewise 
the use of temptations, representing the one 
by gold, and die other by the trying of gold 
in &e &re. 

The worth of gold is, I. Real, the purest 
and most precious of all metals, having many 
excellent properties beyond them, as they 
that write of the nature of gold observe. 2. 
Far greater in the esteem and opinion of 
men. See how men hurty up and down, 
over sea and land, unwearied in their 'pur- 
suit, with hazard of life, and often widi the 
I0S9 of uprightness and a good conscience ; 
and not only thus esteem it in itself, bat 
make it the rule of their esteem one of ano- 
ther, valuing men less or more, as they are 
more or less furnished with it. And we see 
at what a height that is; fbr things we 
would commend much, we borrow its name 
to them, vi», golden mediocrity ; and that 
age which they would call the best of all, 
they name it the golden age : And as Se- 
neca observes, describing heavenly things, 
as Ovid the sun*s palace and chariot, still 
gold is the word for alL 

And the holy Scriptures, descending to 
our reach, do set forth the riches of the new 
Jerusalem by it. Rev. xxi. and the excel- 
lency of Christ, Cant. v. 11, 14. And here 
the preciousness of faith, whereof Christ Is the 
object, is said to be more precious thangdUL 

I will not insist on the pandlel of fiuth 
with gold, in the other qualities of it, as that 
it is pure and sdUd as gold, and that it is 
most ductile and malleable as gold ; beyond 
all other metals, it plies any way with the 
will of God. But then ^th truly enriches 
the soul : And as gold answers all things, so 
faith gives the soul propriety to all the rich 
consolations of the Oospel, txi all the pro- 
mises of life and salvation, to aU needful 
blessings ; it draws virtue from Christ to 
strengthen itself, and all other graces. 



7.1 



THE FIRST EPI6TLE OF PETER. 



And Umis it 18 not only precious aa gold, 
but goes tax above the comparison; it is 
Morv preeiintSy yea, much more precious, 1 . 
In its original ; the other is digged out of 
the bowels of the earth, but the mine of this 
gold is above, it comes from heaven. 2. In 
its nature, answerable to its original, it is 
immaterial^ spiritual, and pure. We refine 
gold and make it pirer, but when we receive 
frith pure of itsdf, we mix dross with it, 
and make it impure by the alloy of unbe* 
lief. 3. In its endurance, flowing from the 
fismer, it perisheth not. Gold is a thing 
in itsdf corruptible and perishing, and to 
particular owners, it perisheth in Uieir loss 
of it, being deprived of it any way. 

Other graces are likewise tried in the same 
faraace ; but &ith is named as the root of 
aU the rest. Sharp afflictions give a Chris- 
tian a trial of his love to God, whether it be 
single, and for himself or not ; for then it 
win be the same when he strikes, as when 
he embraces, and in the fire of affliction will 
lather grow the hotter, and be more taken off 
finom the world, and set upon him. Again, 
die grace of patience is put particularly upon 
trial in distresses. But both these spring 
ficm fiuih. For love rises from a right and 
strong belief of the goodness of God ; and 
patience from a persuasion of the wisdom 
and love of God, and the truth of his pro- 
mises. He hath said, / wiU not fail thee, 
and that we shall not be tempted above our 
strength, and he will give the issue. Now 
the belief of these things causes patience. 
The trial of faith toorJceth patienee, Jam. i. 
3. For therefore doth the Christian resign 
up himself, and all that concerns him, his 
trials, the measure and length of them all, 
unto God^s disposal, because he knows that 
he ia in the hands of. a wise and loving Fa- 
ther. Thus the trial of these, and other par- 
ticular graces, doth still resolve into this, 
and ia comprised under the trial of fidth. 
This brings us, 

2dl^f To the usefulness of temptations in 
relation to it 

This trial, as that of gold, may be for a 
two-ihld end x 1. For experiment of the truth 
and poreness of a Christian's fiuth. 2. For 
refining it yet more, and to raise it to a 
liigfaer pitch or degree of pureness. 

1. The furnace of affliction shows upright 
ical faith to be such indeed, remaining still 
the same even in the fire, the same Uiat it 
was, undinunished, as good gold loses none 
of iia quantity in the firi. Doubtless many 
an deceived in time of ease and prosperi^ 
with imaginary fidth and fortitude : So that 
there may be still smne doubt while a man 
ia nnderaet with outward helps, as riches, 
ftiends, esteem, &c. whether he leans upon 
those, or upon God, who is-an invisible sup. 
pocl^ thou|^ stronger than all that are visible, 
and ia the peculiar and alone stay of fiutb in 



all conditions. But when aU these outwaid 
props are plucked away from a man, then it 
will be manifest, whether something else up- 
holds him or not ; for if there be nothing 
else, then he fidls ; but if his mind standi 
firm, and unremovedas before, then it is evi- 
dent he laid not his weight upon these things 
he had then about him ; but was built upon 
a fbundation, though not seen, which is able 
alone to stay him, although he be not only 
fhistrated of all other supports, but beaten 
upon with storms and tempests, as our Sa- 
viour says, the house fell noty because it wa$ 
founded on a rock, Matth. vii. 25. 

This testified the truth of David*s faith, 
who found it staying him upon God, when 
there was nothing else near that could do it, 
Ihadfaintedy unless I had believed, PsaL 
xxvii. 13 ( so in his strait, 1 Sam. xxx. 6, 
where it is said that David was ffreatly dism 
tressed ; but he encouraged himself in the 
Lord his God. Thus Psal. Ixxiii. 26, My 
flesh and my heart faileth ; but God is the 
strength of my heart and portion for ever. 
The hearths natural strength of spirit and 
resolution may bear up under outwaid weak- 
ness, or the fiiiling d the fiesh : but when 
the heart itself fails, that is, the strength of 
the flesh, what shaU strengthen it ? nothing 
but God, who is the strength of the heart 
and its portion for ever. Thus faith work, 
eth alone, when the case suits that of the 
Prophet's, Hab. iii. 17> Although the flg- 
tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be 
in the vines, &c. yet, ver. 18, / wiU rejoice 
in the Lord, I will Joy in (he God of my 
salvation. 

In spiritual trials that are the sharpest and 
most fiery of all, when the furnace is within 
a man, when God doth not only shut up his 
loving-kindness from its feeling, but seems to 
shut it up in hot displeasure, when he writes 
bitter things against it ; yet then to depend 
upon him, and wait fat his salvation, this is 
not only a true, but a strong, and very re- 
fined fidth indeed, and the more he smites, 
I he more to cleave to him. Well might he 
say. When I am tried, I shall come forth 
as gold, who could say that word. Though 
he slay me, yet will I trust in him ; though 
I saw, as it were, his hand lifted up to de- 
stroy me, yet from that same hand would I 
expect salvation. 

2. As the furnace shews faith to be what 
it is, so also it betters it, and makes it more 
juredous and purer than it was. 

The graces of the Spirit, as they come 
from the hand of God that infuses them, are 
nothing but pureness : but being put into a 
heart where sin dwells, (which till the body 
be dissolved and taken to pieces, cannot be 
fully purged out,) there they are mixed with 
corruption and dross. And particularly fiiith 
is mixed with unbelief, and love, of earthly 
things, and dependence u|>on the creature, if 



26 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[crap. I. 



not more than Ood, yet together with him : 
and for this ia the furnace needful, that the 
soul may be purified from diis dross, and 
made more sublime and spiritual in believ- 
ing. It is a hard task, and many times 
oomes but slowly forward, to teach the heart 
by discourse and speculation to set loose from 
the world at all sides, not to cleave to the 
best things in it, though we be compassed 
about with them, though riches do inerea$e, 
yet not to set our hearts on them, PsaL Ixii. 
10, not to trust in such uncertain thingsy 
1 Tim. vi. 17| as they are, as the apostle 
speaks. Therefore Ood is pleased to choose 
(he more effectual way to teach his own the 
right and pure exercise of faith, either by 
withholding or withdrawing those things 
from them. He makes them relish the 
tweemess of spiritual comfort, by depriving 
them of those outward comforts whereon they 
were in most danger to have doated to ex- 
cess, and so to have forgotten themselves and 
him ; when they are reduced to necessity, 
and experimentidly trained up, easily to let 
go their hold of any thing earthly, and to 
stay themselves only upon their Rock, this 
as Uie very refining of their faith, by those 
losses and afflictions wherewith they are 
exercised. They that learn bodily exercises, 
as fencing, &c. are not taught by sitting 
still, and hearing rules, or seeing others 
practise, but they leain by exercising them- 
selves. The way to profit in the art of be- 
lievinff, or coming to this spiritual activity 
of faim, is, to be often put to that work in 
the most diflicult way, to make up all wants 
and losses in Ood, and to sweeten the bitter. 
est griefs with bis loving kindness. 

Jlft^^ be found unto praise, and ho^ 
nour, and fflorp»'l This is the end that is 
intended, and shall be ctftainly obtained by 
all these hot trials. Faithshall come through 
them all, and shall be found unto praise, 
&.C An unskilful beholder may think it 
strange to See gold thrown into the fire, and 
lefl there for a time; but he that puts it 
there would be loth to lose it ; his purpose is 
to make some costly piece of work of it : 
Every believer gives himself to Christ, and 
he undertaJces to present them blameless to 
the Father ; not one of them shall be lost, 
nor one drachm of their fUth ; they shall be 
found, and their fiuth shall be found when 
he appears. That fidth that is here in the 
furnace shall be then made up into a crown 
of pure gdd, it shall be fc/and unto praise, 
and honour, and glory. 

This praise, and honour, and glory, may 
be refened to believers themselves, according 
to the apostle St Paulas expression, Rom. 
ii. 7, or to Christ that appears : But the 
two win agree weB together, that it be both 
to their praise, and to the praise of Christ ; 
for certainly all their praise and glory shall 
tenniiiate in the glory of their head C'hriM, 



who is God blessed for ever ; they have eftdi 
their crown, but their honour is, to cast them 
all down before his throne, ffe shall be 
glorified in his saints, and admired in them 
that believe. They shall be glorious in him ; 
and therefore in iHl their glory he shall be 
glorified : For as they have derived their 
glory from him, it shall all return back to 
him again. 

At the appearance of Christ Jesug.1 
This denotes the time when this shall come 
to pass ; for Christ is fitithful and true ; 
he hath promised to come again, and to 
judge the world in righteousness, and he will 
' come, and will not tarry ; he shall judge 
righteously in that day, who was himself un- 
righteously judged here on earth. It is call, 
ed the revelation ; all other things shall be 
revealed in that day, Uie most hidden things, 
good and evil unveiled ; but it is eminently 
the day of his revelation, it shall be by hit 
light, by the brightness of his coming, that 
all other things shall be revealed ; but he 
. himself shall be the worthiest sight of all : 
All eyes shall behold him. &e shall then 
gloriously appear before all men and angels, 
and shall by all be acknowledged to be the 
Son of God, and judge of the world : Some 
shall with joy know him, and acknowledge 
him to be so, others to their homr and 
amazement. How beautiful shall he be to 
those that love him, when he as the gUniooa 
I Head shall appear with his whole body mys- 
tical together with him ! 

Then the glory and pndse that all the 
saints shall be honoured with, shall recom- 
pense fUQy all the scorns and ignominies, 
and distresses they have met with here. And 
they shall shine the brighter for them. Oh I 
if we considered often of that solemn day, 
how light should we set by the opinions of 
men, and all outward hardiiiips that can be- 
fal us I How easily should we digest dis- 
praise and dishonour here, and pass tbroogfa 
all cheerfully, provided we may be then 
found in him, and so partakers cf praise, and 
glory, and honour, in thai day ^f his ap* 
pearing f 



VBII.& WlKMaliav]iwDotMai,yslo«ei Id' 

though now ye see mm not. yet believing, yc «». 
Joke with joy unflpeskaUe, and fbU of glory : 

Van. 9. Recdvlng the cwl of your ftlth» evsK ifas 
pslmdun ql your touk^ 

It is a paradox to Ae werid that the apoe^ 
tie hath asserted, that there is a joy that ean 
silbaist in the midst of sorrow t th ere fo re he 
insists in the eenflimation ef it ( and in tSl 
those words proves it to the full, yea wiA 
advantage, diat die saints have not only 
some measure of joy in the griefb Aat abeuad 
upon them here, but excellent and eminent 
joy, sneh as makes good all that en be said 
of it, cannoC be spoke toe raneh d, tat it la 
unspeakable, aet too much magaiiiedy ftt It 
is^l9ffoii«. 



TKB.8r9f] 



TH£ riMT fiflSTLB OV P^TER. 



To CTfidenc* die tnidi iif thk, and to cod- 
iiim bit bitfCfann ki the experieneed know- 
ledge itf it, he exy a ci B cs here book partien- 
kdf and dMaedy the cwues of this tfaeb 
jof, whiefa aie, 

1. The okjlsel or «uifll9r of it 9 The a^ 
jNwJkeiutOfi and appr^priaium of Aat objeoi ; 
whidi two eoDjoined^ ate the entile cause of 
all xcjoidiig. 

1. The ofrfael ia Jeave Gfaifst, Ter. 9, and 
die salvacioD pvehaaed by him, Ter. 9, Ibr 
dieae two cannot be aefend, and ihese two 
venea diet apeak of them, reqniie, as is eri- 
dent by tbor cotmectioii, to be considered 
tagedieiw d* The i^prehenaien or these, 
set Ibitfa, 1. NegatiTdy, not by bodily sight ; 
8. PodtiTely, wbeseaa that might seem to 
abate the certain^ andlifeliBesa of Aeir le- 
joidng, that it is of things they had not 
seen, nor de yet see, that ia abundantly made 
up by three Ibr one^ eaeh of them more ex- 
eeDetit than the mere bodily sight of Christ 
in the fleah, which many had, which were 
never the better by it ; ^e three are, those 
three prime Chriatian gmoes, fidth, love, and 
hope ; the two fimner in ver. 8, the third in 
wr. 9. Faith in Christ begetting loye to 
him, and both these giring assured hope of 
sshutioBby him, making it as certain to them, 
as if it were aheady in their hand, and they 
in possession of it. And from all those together 
Bsnhs due erultation, or leaping for joy, joy 
muspeakabie and full ofgk^, 

Thia is that one (king that so mdch con- 
eema ua, and theiefbre we mistake very ftr, 
and ftrget oar own highest interest too much, 
when we either speak or hear of it dightly, 
and apply not our hearts to it. What is it 
that afi our dnnights and endeavours drive 
at ? What means all that we are doing in 
die wodd ? Though we take several ways to 
it, and wrong ways ibr the most |)art, yea, 
sodiwaya as kad not to it, but set us ihr- 
ther off from it; yet that which we aH sedc 
aftec^ by all our hd>our under the sun, is 
asmedting that may be matter of content* 
ment and n^oicing to us when we have at* 
tained it : Now here it is, and in vain is it 
aoo^t ibr etacwfaere. And fat this end it is 
iqveaentod to you, that it may be youis, if 
ye will entertain it ; not only that you may 
know thia to be a truth, that in Jesus Christ 
ia laid up tsne cooaolarion and rejoicing, that 
he ia t]i» magarine and tieaimry of it, but 
tint you maty know how to bring him- home 
Into your h«ats, and lodge him there, and 
■o to have the taring ef Joy within you. 

That which givea Ml joy to the soul mmt 
be anmething that Is bigher and better ibaik 
liedf. In a word, ho tlutBMMle it, can oi&f 
nakfl it glad after dda manner, widi untpeak* 
akh and $kintme jop. But the soul re- 
maining guilty of vsbdtton a^^dnwiiim, waA 
unneaBeilad, camnt behold him but a^i an 
I ai^ bdinf that it oan have of him 



while it is In ^hat postme, is not vudi as can 
fetch Une and Aopo, and so rejmcing ; but 
such as the frith of devils produoeth, oidy be« . 
getting tenor and trembling. But the light 
of his countenance shining in the free of 
his Son the Mediator, glads Ae heart ; and 
it is the looking upon him so, diat causeth 
the aool to believe^ and love, and hope^ and 
rejoice. Therefore the apostle, £]di. ii. 12^ 
in his description of the estate of the Oen- 
tiles before Christ was preached to them, 
joins these together, wHhout Chriet, that 
was die cause of aH the rest ; therefore, with- 
out comfort in the promises, without hope^ 
and wUhout God in the world ; so he is here 
by our apostle expressed as the object In 
all these therefore he is the matter of our joy, 
because our /at/^, and hve^ and hope of saK 
vadon^ do centre in him. 

The apostle writing to the dispersed Jews, 
many of whom had not known nor seen Christ 
in the flesh, commends their love and frith, 
for this reason, that it did not depend upon 
bodily sight, but was pure and spiritual 
and made them of the number of those that 
our Saviour himself pronounced hleseed, who 
hate not seen, and yet believe* You saw 
him not when he dwelt amongst men, and 
walking to and fro, preaching and working 
mirad^. Many of diose that did then hear 
and see him, beBeved not ; yea, they scoffed, 
and hated, and persecuted him, and in the 
end crucified him ; You that have seen none 
of aH those things, yet having heard tlie gos- 
pel that dedares him, you have believed. 

Thus ohterve, the working, or not work- 
ing of frith, doth not depend upon the dif- 
ference of die external ministiy and gifts of 
men : For what greater difference can there 
be that way, than betwixt the master and 
the servants, betipdxt the great Prophet him- 
self, and his weak sinful messengers ? and 
yet many of those that saw and heard him 
in person were not converted, believed not 
in liim ; and thousands that never saw him, 
weie converted by his apostles, and, as It 
seems, even some of those that were some 
way accessory to his death, yet were brought 
to repentance by this same apostle's sermon^ 
Acts u. 

Learn then to look above the outward mi- 
nistry and any difference that in God> dis^ 
pensation can be there, and know, that if 
Jesus Christ himself were on earth, and now 
preaching amongst us, yet might his inoom- 
parable words be unprofitable to us, not be- 
ing mixed with frith in die hearers. But 
where diat is, the meanest and die most des- 
piseable conveyance of his message, received 
with humility and affection, will work bless- 
ed effects. 

Whom not eeeingyet beRetring,] Faidi 

elevates the soul not only above sense, and 

sensible diingh, but above reason itself. As 

I reason corrects the enors diat sense might 



9» 



A CONMBNTARY UPON 



f CHAPU v 



occaaioa ; m tapematiital &ith c o rre cto the 
exion of oatutal xeaMO, judging aooording to 



The sun seems less than the wheel of a 
.chariot : but reason teaches the philosopher, 
that it is much bigger than the whole earth, 
and the cause why it seems so little is its 
great distance. 

The naturally wise man, is as fiu* deceived 
by this carnal reason in his estimate of Jesus 
Christ the mn qf righieotune$s, and the 
cause is the same, his great distance from 
him, as the Psalmist spades of the wicked, 
(Psal. X. 5.) Thy Judgments are far above 
cut of his sight. He accounts Christ and 
his gjory a smaller matter than his own gain, 
honour, or pleasure ; for these axe near him, 
and he sees their quantity to the full, and 
counts them bigger, yea fiur more worth than 
they are indeed. But the apostle Paul, and 
all that are enlightened by the same spirit 
chey know by fiidth, which is divine reason, 
that the excellency of Jesus Christ far sur- 
jfiasses the wortli of the whole earth, and all 
things earthly, Phil. iii. 7> 8. 

To give a right assent to the goqiel of 
Christ is impossible without divine and sav- 
ing faith, infused in the soul, to believe that 
the eternal Son of God clothed himself with 
human flesh, and dwelt amongst men in a 
tabemade like theirs, and suffer(;d death in 
the flesh, that he who was Lord of life, hath 
fkeed us from the sentence of eternal death, 
that he broke the bars and chains of death, 
and rose again, that he went up into heaven, 
and there at the Father*s right hand sits in 
our flesh, and that glorified above the angeb. 
This is the grecU mystery of godiiness. And 
a part of this mystery is, diat he is believed 
<m in the world, 1 Tim. ilL 16. ThU na- 
tural men may discourse of, and that very 
knowingly, and give a kind of natural credit 
to it, as to a history that may be true ; but 
firmly to believe, that there is divine truth 
in aU these things, and to have a persuasion 
of it stronger than of the very things we see 
with our eyes ; such an assent as this, is the 
peculiar work of the Spirit of Ood, and ii 
certainly saving faith. 

The soul that so believes, cannot choose 
but love ; it is commonly true, the eye is the 
ordinary door by which love enters into the 
soul, and it is true in this love : though it is 
denied to the eye of sense, yet you see it ia 
ascribed to the eye of fidth, though you have 
not seen him you love him, beoause you be» 
iieve i which is to see him spiritually. Faith 
indeed is distinguished ftam that vision that 
is in glory ; but it is the vision of the king* 
dom (k grace, it is the eye of the new crea- 
ture, that quick-sighted eye, that pierces all 
the visible heavens, and sees above them, 
that locks to things that are not seen^ 2 Cor. 
iv. 18, and is the evidence of things not 
seen, Heb< xi. 1, that sees him that is in- 



visible^ ver. 27* It is pom&iiLs that one may 
be much loved upon the report of bis woidi 
and virtues, and upon a picture of him, live* 
ly drawn, befbre aight <if the party so omn. 
mended and represented ; but certainly when 
he is seen, and found answerable to die for- 
mer, it raises the affection that it first begun 
to a far greater hei^t. We have the re- 
port of the perfections of Jesus Christ in the 
goepel ; yea, so dear a description of him, 
that it gives a picture of him, and that, to- 
gether with the sacraments, are the only law- 
ful and the only lively pictures of our Sa- 
viour, GaL lit. 1. Now &tth beUeves diis 
report, and beholds this picture, and so lets 
in the love of Christ to tlie soul ; but for- 
ther, it gives a paitieular experimental know- 
ledge of Christ, and aoquaintanoe with him. 
It causes the soul to find all that is spoken 
of him in the Woid, and his beauty there 
represented, to be abundantly true, makes it 
really taste of his sweetness, .and by that 
possesses the heart more strongly wldi his 
love, persuadingitofthetnith of those thing*, 
not by reasons and aigumentsi, but by an in- 
expressible kind of evidence, that they only 
know that have it. Faith persuades a Cfans- 
tian of these two things, that the phUosopher 
gives as the cause of all love, beauty and 
propriety, the loveliness of Christ in himself, 
and our interest in him. 

The former it effeetuates, not dldy by the 
first apprehending and believing of those his 
exctdlendes and beauty, but by frequent be- 
holding of him, and ejreing him in whom all 
perfection dwells, and looks so oft on him, 
till it sets the very impression of his image, 
as it were upon the soul, that it can neverfae 
blotted out and forgot. The latter it doth by 
that particular uniting act, whidi makes him 
our God and our Saviour. We proceed there, 
fore to consider, 

2dly, The appropriation of the object, ye 
love*] The distineticns that some make of 
love, need not be tdcen as of diffbrent kinds, 
but different aettnga of the lame love, by 
which we may try our so mudi pretended 
love of Christ, which in troth is so rsiely 
found. There will then be in this love, if it 
be right, these three qualities, good-miU, dr- 
light, and desire. 

\st, Good'Will, earnest wishing, and as 
we can, pDomoting God*s g^ory, and stilting 
up othere so to do. Th^ that seek more 
their oten things than the tMngs cf Jesme 
Christy more their own praise and esteem 
than his, are strangeis to this divine love t 
For it seeks not her own things. This bit- 
ter root of sdf4ove is most hard to phidc' 
ups This strongeat and sweetest love of 
Christ alone doth it aetua&y, thou^ gradis- 
ally. * This love makea the soul, as thelover- 
heaven, slow in its iiwn motion, most awift 
In the motion of that first that wheels itaboot ; 
so the higher degree of lor^ the more fwlfL 



a, 9.1 



THE FIRST EPISTLS OF PETER. 



S» 



ItlovMthahaKUattatkf nd gnatatt diffl- 
euldeSy where it mejr peHbim Gtod service, ' 
cither in doing, or in euiiering far him. It , 
is Hrtmg at death, and many waters oaiu 
not quench it. Cant. viii. 6, 7* The great, 
cr the taak is, the more real ia the testimony 
sad ezpreseioD of lore, and thereAve the more 
leoepCable to Ood. 

2^jr, There is in trae love a complaoency 
and deiiffht in CM; a eonfoimity to his 
will ; loving what he loves : It is stodioos 
of his will, ever seeking to know mote dear- 
ly what it is that is most pleasing to him, 
eootiacting a likeness to God in all his ac- 
tloBs, by eonvcisingwith him, frequeot con- 
templating of Ood, and looking on his beauty. 
As the eye lets in this affection, so it serves 
it constantly, and readily looks that way that 
love directs it. Thus ihe soul that is pos- 
sessed with this love of Jesus Christ, the 
•oul which hath its eye much upon him, of- 
ten thinking on his 'former sufferings and 
present gloiy, the more it looks upon Christ, 
the more it loves ; and still the more it loves, 
die more it delights to look upon him. 

3d/y, There is in trae love a desire ; for 
it ia but small beginnings and tastes of his 
goodness that the soul hath here, therefore it 
is still looking out and longing fat the day 
of mairiage ; the time is sad and wearisome, 
sod seems much longer than it is while it is 
detained here. / desire to be dissolved, 
•aith St. Paul, and to be with Christ, Phil. 
L28. 

God is the sum of all things lovely. Thus 
excellently Ctjeg. Nazian. ezpces&eth himself, 
Orat. 1, '* If I have any possessions, health, 
credit, learning, this is all the contentment 
I have of them, that I have somewhat I may 
demise for Christ, who is totus desiderabi" 
USf et totum desiderabileJ'* And this love 
is the sum of all he requires of us ; it is that 
whieb makes all our meanest services accep- 
table, and without which all we offer to him 
is distastefuL €K)d doth not only deserve 
our lose by his matchless, excellencies and 
beauty, but by his matchless love to us, and 
that is the strongest loadstone of love, He 
hath loved me, said the apostle, Oal. ii. 20. 
How appears that ? in no less than this, 
Ge hath given himself for me. Certainly 
then there is no clearer character of our love 
than thia, to give oursdlves to him, that hath 
so loved us, ttod given himself for us. 
. This afibction must be bestowed some- 
where t There is no man but hath some 
pnme choice, somewhat that is the predo- 
minant delight of his soul ; will it not then 
be our wisdom to make tiie worthiest choice ? 
seeing it is offered us, and is extretne folly 
to reject it 

Grace doth not pluck up by the roots, and 
whoDy destroy die natural passions of the 
Blind, because they are distempered by sin : 
thai were «a extreme rancdy, to cure by kill- 



ing, and heal by cutting off: No, but it 
coireets the distemper in them ; it dries not 
up this main stream of love, but purifies It 
from the mud it is full of In its wrong course, 
or calls it to its right channel, by which it 
mayrun into happiness, and empty itself 
into the ocean of goodness. The Holy Spirit 
turns the love of the soul towards God in 
Christ, for in that way only can it apprehend 
his love ; So then Jesus Christ is the first 
ob^t of this divine love ; he is medium uni- 
onis, through whom €h>d conveys the sense 
of his love to the soul, and receives back its 
love to him. 

And if we will consider his incomparable 
beauty, we may look on it in the holy Scrip- 
tures, particularly in that divine song of loves, 
wherein Solomon bonows all the beauties of 
the creatures, dips his pencil in all their se- 
veral excellencies, to set him forth unto us, 
who is the Chief of ten thousands. There 
is an inseparable intennixtore of love with 
belief, and a pious affection, receiving divine 
truth ; so that, in effect, as we distinguish 
them, they are mutually strengthened, the 
one by the other, and so though it seem a 
circle, it is a divine one, and foUs not under 
censure of the SchooFs pedantry. If yoa 
ask, how shall I do to love 9 I answer, be» 
lieve. If you ask, how shall I believe 9 1 
answer, love. Although these expressions to 
a carnal mind are altogether unsavoury, by 
gross mistaking tiiem ; yet to a soul taught 
to read and hear them, by any measure of 
that same spirit of love wherewith they were 
penned, they are full of heavenly and unut- 
terable sweetness. 

Many directions, and means of begetting 
and increasing this love of Christ may be 
here offered, and they that delight in num- 
ber may multiply them ; but sure this one 
win comprehend the greatest and best part, 
if notall of them. Believe, and you shall love ; 
believe much, and you shall love muoh ; la- 
bour for strong and deep persuasions of the 
glorious things that are spoken of Christ, and 
this will command love. Certainly did men 
indeed believe his worth, they would accord- 
ingly love him ; for the reasonable creature 
cannot but affect that most which it firmly 
believes to be worthy of affection. O ! this 
mischievous unbelief is that which makes the 
heart cold and dead towards God. Seek 
then to believe Christ's excellency in himself 
and his love to us, and our interest in him, 
and this wiU kindle such a fire in the heart' 
as will make it ascend in a sacrifice of love 
to him. 

Many signs likewise of this love may be 
multiplied, according to the many fruits and 
workings of it : but In them all, itself is its 
own most infallible evidence. When the 
soul finds that all its obedience and endea- 
vour to keep the commands of Jesus Christ, 
which hilnself makes Um chuaeterj do flow 



30 



A COMMENTASY UPON 



[en A p. f. 



tfom loTe, then it if true and ttnceee : For 
do or sufier what you will, without love all 
passes for nothing ; all aie cyphers without 
fty they signify nothing, 1 Cor. xiii. 

This is the message of the Gospel, and 
dbat which the ministry aims at, and there- 
fiire the ministers ought to be suitors, not 
for themselves, but for Christ, to espouse 
souls to him, and to bring in many hearts to 
love him. And ctftainly this is the most 
compendious way to persuade to all other 
Christian duties, this is to converse with 
Jesus Christ ; and therefore where his love 
is, no other incentive will be needful : For 
love delights in the presence and converse of 
die party loved. If we are to persuade to 
duties of the second table, the sum of those 
is love to our brethren, resulting ftom the 
love cf Christ, which difilueth such a sweet- 
ness into the soul, that it ia all love, and 
meekness, and gentleness, and long suffer- 
ing. 

If times be for suffering, love will make 
the soul not only bear, but welcome the bit- 
terest afflictions of life, and the hardest kinds 
cf death for his sake. In a word, there is 
in love a sweet constraint, or tying of the 
heart to all obedience and duty. 

The love of Ood is requisite in ministers, 
in their preaching of the word ; so our Sa- 
viour to St. Peter, John zzi. 16, Peier, 
Ipvett thou me $ then feed my lambe* It 
it requi&ite for the people that they receive 
the truth in the love of it, and that Christ 
preached may be entertained in the sonl, 
and embraced by fiuth and love. 

You that have made choice of Christ for 
70ur love, let not your hearts slip out, to re- 
new your wonted base fiuniliarity with sin ; 
for that wUl bring new bitterness to yoor 
simls, and at least finr sometimes will de- 
prive you of the sensible fiivour of your be- 
Idved Jesus. Delight always in God, and 
give him your whole heart ; for he deserves 
it all, and is a satisfying good to it. The 
largest heart is all of it too strait for the 
riches of consolation that he brings with 
him. Sedc to increase in this love ; and 
though it is at first weak, yet labour to find 
it daily rise higher, and bum hotter and 
clearer, and consume the dross of earthly 
desires. 

Receiving the end of your fa\th.\ Al. 
though the soul that believes and loves, is 
put in present possession of God, as for as it 
is capable in its sojourning here ; yet it de- 
sires a full enjoyment, which it cannot at- 
tain to, without removing hence. While 
we are present in the body, we are absent 
from the Lord, saith the apostle. And be- 
cause they are assured of that happy ex- 
change, that being united and freed of this 
body, they shall be present with the Lord, 
having his own word fcr it, that where he 
is, ^ere they shall be, also; tliis begets] 



sttch an anuved fiope> at bene the name 
of peesession, ThereAwe it ia said hewy 
receiviny the end t^ your faiths 

This reeewmg likewise flows fhmi lUtks. 
Faith apprehends the pnsent truth of iSbit 
divine promiaes, . and so makes die tfaiAgs lo 
come pcesent ( and hope looks out to tliafr 
after accomplishment : Whieh if the piOk 
mises be true, as faith avers, tlupJiope hath 
good reason firmly to expect \Xhie deain 
and hope are the very wheela of die soul that 
cany it on, a^d faith die common azia on 
which they rest) 

In the words there are two things i !• 
The good hoped fbr, in Christ so beliwrsd oH 
and loved : 2. The assurednesa of the faop^ 
itself, yea, it ia as sure as if it were ahcady 
aocam]^8hed. 

I. As fiir the good hoped for, it cQwaisfSf 
1. In the nature of it, trtsr. the salvation of 
their soul ; 2. In a reladve property of if, 
the end qf their faiih, 

let. The nature of it is, sahaHonj and 
salvation of the soul ; it imports full ddive- 
nuice ftom all kinds of miseiy , and the ssii 
possession of peileet happiness, when the 
soul shall be out of the readi of all adversa- 
ries snd adverse accidents, no more subject- 
ed to those evils that are properiy its cfwn, 
namely, the conscience of sin, and fesr of 
wrath, and sad defections; nor yet snbjeel; 
to those other evils it endured, by socfetf 
with the body, outward distresses and afBic- 
tioDs, persecutions, poverty, diseases, &c 

It is called ealvoHon of the souls Not 
excluding the body fimn the society of tfast 
^oiy, when it shall be raised and reunited 
to the soul ; but because the soul is of itself 
an immortal substance, and both the more 
noble pert of man, and the prime sob)ect 
both of grace and i^ory, and because it ar- 
rives first at that blessedness, and fbr a tinw 
leaves the body in the dust to do homaga to 
its originsl, therefore it ia only nsmed here. 
But Jesus is the Saviour of the body too» 
and he shall at his coming, chetnge omt viU 
bodies, and make <A«hi like his gloHtme 
body. 

2dly, We have the relative property of 
this hope, the end of your faith. ■ The end 
or reward ; fbr it is both. It is tiie endy 
either at which fiiidi aims, or whciain it 
ceaseth* It is the reward, not of their 
woriLs, nor of faith, as a woric deserving it, 
but as the condition of the new covenant, 
which God, according to die tenor of that 
covenant, first works in his own, and then 
rewards as if it were their work. And this 
salvation, or firuition of Christ, is the proper 
reward of fiuth, which believes in hiin un- 
seen, and so obtains that happy sig^t. It 
is the proper work of ftith to believe what 
thou seest not, and the reward of frith to sea • 
what thou hast believed. 

II. This is die certain^ of their hopc^ 



▼SI. 8| 9.1 



THE FIRST KPISTIilS OF P£TER. 



SL. 



that it ia ai If they had already tecdvad it. 
If the promise of €K>d and the mezit of 
Christ hold good, then they that helieve in. 
hjvy and lore him, aie made sure of salva- 
tion. The pxomises of Ocd in Christ ar^ 
noi pea and nay ; but they are in him yea^ 
and in him amen. Sooner may the rivers 
rim backward, and the course of the heavens 
change, and the i^nme of nature be dissolv- 
ed, than any one soul that is united to Jesus 
Christ hy &ith and love can be severed from 
him, and so fidl short of salvation hoped 
for in him ; and this the matter of their 
ngoidng. 

Ye rejoice with joy umpeakable.l The 
naturai many says the apostle, receiveth not 
ihe things of God^ for they are foolishnete 
finio him f and he adds the reason why he 
cannot know them, for they are spiritually 
discerned* He hath none of that faculty by 
which they are discerned. There is a vast 
disproportion betwixt those things and na- 
ture's highest capacity, it cannot work be- 
yond its sphere. Speak to the natural man 
of the matter of spiritual grief, the sense of 
guiltiness, and the appxefaeftsion of God's 
di^leasure, or the hiding of his favour and 
the light of his countenance from the soul ; 
these things stir not in him, he knows not 
what they mean. Speak to him. again of 
ihe peace of conscience, and sense of God's 
love, and the joy that arises hence ; he is no 
less a stranger to that. Mourn to him, and 
he laments not ; pipe to him, and he dances 
not, as our Saviour speaks, Matth. xi. 17* 
Bat, as it there follows, there is a wisdom 
in those things, though they seem foQy and 
nonsense to the fbolish world, and this wis- 
dom is jusHJiedof her own children, ret, 19. 

Having said somewhat already of the 
causes of this spiritual joy which the apostle 
here speaks of, it remains that we consider 
those two things : 1. How joy ariseth from 
those causes : 2. The excellency of this joy, 
as it is here expressed. 

1. There is here a solid sufficient good, 
and the heart made sure of it, being partly 
put in present possession of it, and in a most 
certain hope of all the rest. And what 
more can be required to make it joyful ? 
Jesus Christ, the treasure of all blessings, 
received and united to the soul, by faith, 
and love, and hope. 

Is not Christ the light and joy of the na- 
tlons ? such a light as Abraham, at the dis. 
tance of many ages, of more than two thou- 
sand years, yet saw by faith, and seeing, 
rejoiced. Besides this brightness, that 
makes light a joyful object, light is often in 
scripture put for joy. Christ, this light, 
brings salvation with Mm, he is the Sun of 
righteousness, and there is healing under 
his wings. I bring you, said the angel, 
good tidings of great joy, that shall be to 
all people. And theli song hath in it the 



matter of that joy^ Glory to Qod In ih§ 
highett, peace on earth, and good^wHl tOm. 
ward men, Luke ii. IO^l.14. 

Bui to the end we may rcjoioe in Christ, 
we must find him ours, otherwise the mova- 
exceUem he is, the more cause hath tb« 
heart to be sad, while it hath no portion in> 
him: My spirit hath rejoiced, saith the 
blessed Virgin, in God my Saviour, Luke ■ 
i. 47. 

Thus, 1 John i. 4, having spoken of our 
communion with Christ, the aposde adda^ 
These things I write, that your joy may 
be full. Faith workeUi this joy, by uniting 
the soul to Christ, and applying his merits ; 
and from that application arises the pardon : 
of sin. And so that load of miseiy, wliich 
was die great cause of soixow, is lemov-, 
ed ; and so soon as the soul finds itself 
lightened and unloaded of that burden that 
was sinking it to hell, it cannot choose but. 
leap for joy, in the ease and refinshment it 
&ids. Therefore that psalm that David be- 
gins with the doctrine of tlie pardon of sin, 
he ends with an exhortation to rejoicing. 
Blessed is the man whose transgression is 
forgiven, whose sin is covered, PsaL zzxii* 
1. Thus he begins; but he ends, ver. 11, 
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice ye righL 
teous, and shout for joy ail ye that are up* 
right in heart. St. Peter speaks to his 
hearers of the remission of sins. Acts ii. 38,, 
and ver. 41, it is added, they received his 
words gladly : And our Saviour joins these 
two together. Be qf good ocmfort, thy sins 
are forgiven thee. Thus Isa. Ixi. 1, good 
ridings of liberty to captives are proclaimed, 
and a notable change there is of their estate 
who mourn in Zion, giving them beauty for 
ashes, the oil (if joy for mourning, and the 
garment of praise for the spirit of heavu, 
ness. Think with what joy the long im- 
prisoned debtor, drowned in debt, receives a 
full discharge, and his liberty ; or a con- 
demned male^ctor the news of his pardon, 
and this will somewhat resemble it ; but yet 
fidl far short of the joy that faith brings, by 
bringing Christ to the soul, and so for- 
giveness of sins in him. 

But this is not all. This believing soul 
is not only a debtor acquitted and set free, 
but enriched besides with a new and great 
estate ;*not only a pardoned malefactor, but 
withal highly preferred and advanced to ho- 
nour, haying a right by the promises to the 
unsearchable riches of Christ, as the apos- 
tle speaks, and is received into favour with 
God, and into the dignity of soi^ship, taken 
from the dunghill, and set with princes, 
Psal. cxiii. 8. 

As there is joy from faith, so also from 
love. Though it is in itself the most sweet 
and delighti\il passion of the soul, yet as we 
foolishly misplace it, it proveth often fuU 
of , bitterness ; but being set upon Jesus 



A COMMENTARY UPOK 



[cu^p. i« 



Chxitt, the only right and ▼ordiy object, it 
auueth thiB unipeaksble delight and re* 
Joicing. 

Ui, It is matter of jojr to hare bestowed 
our love so worthily ; and though our Sa- 
viour seems to withdraw himself, and sonie- 
thnes sadden the soul that loves him with 
absences, in regard of sense; yet even in 
those sad times, the soul delights to love 
him, and there is a pleasure in the vexy pains 
it hath in seeking after him. And this it 
ImowB, that his mercies axe everlasting, and 
that h^ cannot be long unkind, but will re- 
turn and speak comfortably unto It. 

2d/y, Our love to Christ gives us assu- 
nmce of his to us : so that we have not only 
chosen worthily, but shall not be frustrate 
and disappointed, and it assures us of his, 
not as following, but preceding and causing 
ours : For our love to Jesus Christ is no 
other but the reflex of his on us. Wine 
maketh glad the heart: but thy love t« 
better than wine, saith the spouse. And 
having this persuasion, that he hath loved 
«t, and washed ue in his blood, and forgets 
ns not in our conflicts, that though he him- 
self is in his glory, yet that he intercedes for 
us there, and will bring us thither^ what con- 
dition can befal ns so hard, but we may re- 
joice in it ? and in them, so &r as we are 
sure to arrive at that full salvation and frui- 
tion of him who hath purchased it ? 

Then there is the third cause of our re- 
joicing, viz, our hope. Now hope is our 
anchor fixed wiihin the veil, that stays us 
against all the storms that beat upon us^ in 
this troublesome sea that we arc tossed upon. 
The soul that strongly believes and loves, 
may confidently hope to see what it'belicveth, 
and enjoy what it loves, and in that rejoice. 
It may say. Whatsoever hazards, whether 
outward or inward, whatsoever afliictions and 
temptations I endure, yet this one thing puts 
me out of hazanl, and in that I will rejoice, 
the salvation of my soul depends not upon 
my own strength, but is in my Savioiur*s 
hand : My life is hid with Christ in God ; 
dnd when he who is my life shall appear, I 
likewise shall appear with him in glory. 
The childish world is hunting shadows, and 
gaping and hoping after they know not 
what ; but the believer can say, I know whom 
I have trusted, and am persuaded that he is 
etlle to keep that which J have committed to 
him against that day. Now we have not 
only right to those things, but withal there 
must be frequent consideration of them to 
woric joy. The soul must often view them, 
and so rejoice : My meditation of him shall 
be sweet, saith David, / will be glad in the 
Lord, PsaL civ. 34. And the godly failing 
in this, deprive themselves much of that joy 
tfaey might have } and they that are most 
In these sublhne dioughti, have the highest 
■ad tiuett joy. 



S. The excellency of this joy the spoatLia 
here expresseth by these two words, unepeak^ 
able andyW/ qf glory. 

That it is unspeakable, no wonde^ seeing 
the matter of it is inconceivable, it is an in. 
finite good. Ood reconciled in Jesus Chriat, 
and testifying and sealing his love unto the 
soul,, and giving assured hope of that blessed 
vision of eternity, what more unspeakable 
than this ? And for the same reason it is 
ghriotu, or glorified joy, having the highest 
and most glorious object ; for it derives all 
its excellency from thence. 

Unspeakable. ] The best woridly joys are 
easily speakable ; they may be exprwsed to 
the utmost, yea usually more is spoken of 
them than they are indeed. Their name is 
beyond their worth ; they are very seldom 
found upon experience equal to the opinion 
and expectation that men have of them. But 
this spiritual joy is above the report any can 
make of it, say what they can of it who 
are of happiest expression ; yet when a man 
comes to know it in his own breast, he 
will say, ai that Queen said of Solomon's 
wisdom, the half was not told me i^it. 

Again, earthly joys are inglorious ; mxaj 
of which men are ashamed of, and those 
that seem most plausible, yet are below the 
excellency of the soul, and cannot fill it s 
But the joys that arise from union with 
Christ, as they are most avowable, a man 
needs not blush to own them, so they 
are truly contenting and satisfying, and 
that is dieir gloiy, and the cause why we 
may glory in them : My soul shall make her 
boast in God, says David, PsaL xxxiv. 2. 

For application of all this. If these 
things were believed, we should hearken 
no more to the foolish prejudice that the 
world hath taken up against religion, and 
wherewith Satan endeavours to possess men*s 
hearts, that they may be scared from the 
ways of holiness : They think it a sour 
melancholy life, that hath nothing but sad- 
ness and mourning in it. But to remove 
this prejudice. 

Consider, 1. Religion bars not the law- 
ful delights that are taken in natural things, 
but teaches the moderate and regular use 
of them, which is far the sweeter; for 
things lawful in tliemselves are in their 
excess sinful, and so prove bitterness in 
the end ; and if in some cases it requires 
the forsaking of lawful enjoyments, as of 
pleasure, or profits, or honour, for God and 
for his gloiy, it is generous, and mote truly 
delightful to deny diem for this reason, than 
to enjoy them. Men have done much thi4 
way for the love of their country, and by s 
principle of moral virtue ; but to lose any 
delight, or to suffer any hardship for thai 
highest end, the gloiy of God, and by the 
strength of love to him, is Su more excellent 
and tnily pleasant. 



▼CI. fly 9.1 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



93 



2. The ddights and pleiBuxes of sin, re- 
figion indeed bankhes, but it is to change 
them fat diis joy that is unspeakably be- 
yopd them : it calls men fnxn sordid and 
base delights to those that are pun delights 
indeed ; it calls to men, Drink ye no longer 
of the puddle, here are the crystal streams of 
a living fountain. There is a delight in the 
▼eiy despising impure delights ; as he said, 
How pieaaanU it U iotoant these pletuures $ * 
But for such a change, to have in their stead 
such delights, as in comparison the other 
deserve not that name } to have such spiri- 
tual joy as shall end in eternal joy, it is a 
wonder we hasten not all to choose this joy, 
but it is indeed because we believe it not. 

3. It is true, the godly are subject to great 
dlstKSsea and afflictions ; but their joy is 
not extinguished by those, no, nor diminish. 
ed neither, but often sensibly increased. 
Whea they bave least of the woild^s joy, 
they abound most in spiritual consolations, 
and then relish them beat. They find them 
sweetest when their taste is not depraved 
with earthly enjoyments : We rejoice in tri" 
buUHonj says St. Paul ; and here our apoa* 
tie insists on that, to verify the substance of 
this joy in the midst of the greatest afflictions. 

4. Spiritual grief, that seems most oppo- 
site to this spiritual joy, ezdudeth it not ; 
|br there is a secret delight and sweetness in 
the tears of repentance, a balm in them that 
refreshes the soul, and even their saddest 
kind of mourning, vur. the dark times of 
desertion, hath this in it, that is some way 
sweet, that those mournings after their Be- 
Joved, who absents himself, are a mark of 
their love to him, and a true evidence of it ; 
and then all those spiritual sorrows, of what 
nature soever, are turned into spiritual joy ; 
that is the proper end of them ; they have a 
natural tendency that way. 

5. But the natural man still doubts of 
this joy we speak of; because he sees and 
hears so little of it ficnn them that profea» to 
have it, and seem to have best right to it. 
If we consider the wretchedness of this life, 
and especially the abundance of sin that is in 
the world, what wonder though this their 
joy retire much inward, and appear little 
abroad, where all things are so contrary to it, 
■ad so few are capable of it, to whom it were 
pertinent to vent it Again, we see here, it 
is tmspeakable ; it were a poor thing if he 
thai hath it could not tell it all out.-t- And 
when the soul hath most of it, then it remains 
most within itself, and is so inwardly taken up 
jiiih it, that possibly it can then least of all 
express it. It is with joys as they say of 
cares and griefii, Levee loquuiUur ingenies 
etupeni. The deepest water runs stillest 
True joy is a solid grave thing,:( dwells 

* Quam luavecst bUs saavJtaUbas carere ? Auo. 

f Pmpeili est munersre IMCU8. 

t Res wven eit varum Btudiiua. Bmm* 



more in the heart than in the countenanoe ; 
whereas, on the contrary, base and fUse joys 
are but superficial, skin.deep, as we say ; 
they are all in the fi^e. 

Think not that it is with the godly, as the 
Prophet says of the wicked, that (here it no 
peace to them ; and the Septuagint reads it, 
no joy. Certainly it is true ; there is no 
true joy to the wicked : They may revel and 
make a noise, but they rejoice not ; the 
laughter of ihe fool it ae the crackling of 
thornt under the pot, a great noise but lit- 
tle heat, and soon at an end. There is no 
continuing ftaat, but that of a good eon" 
toience. Widiedness and real joy cannot 
dwell together, as the very moralist SenecH 
hath it often, and at large : But he that 
can say, the righteousness of Jeaus Christ is 
mine, and in him the favour of Ood, and the 
hope of eternal happiness, hath such a light 
aa can shine in the darkest dungeon, yea in 
the dark valley of the shadow of death iU 
eeif. 

Say not thou, if I betake myself to the 
way of godliness, I must bid farewell to 
gladness, never a meny day more ; no, on 
die c o ntrary, never a truly joyful day till dien, 
yea, no days at aU, but night to the soul, tid 
it entertain Jesus Christ, and his kingdom, 
which consists in those, righteousness, peaeci 
and joy in the Holy Ghost. Thou dost not 
sacrifice Isaac, which signifies laughter, Taa 
St. Bern.) but a ram ; not thy joy, but filthy 
sinful delights that end in sonow. 

Oh ! seek to know in your experience what 
those joys mean, for all describing and com. 
mending them to you will not make y6u un* 
derstand them, but taste, and see that the 
Lord is good : You cannot see and know 
this goodness, but by tasting it ;* and having 
tasted it, all those poor joys you thought 
sweet before, will then be bitter and distaste- 
ful to you. 

And you that have Christ yours by be- 
lieving, know your happiness, and rejoice, 
and ^ory in it "VThatsoevcr is your out- 
ward condition, rejoice always, and again I 
say, rejoice, Philip, iv. 4, for light is sown 
to the righteous, and gladness for the up^ 
right in heart, PsaL xcvii. 11. 

Ybr. lOb Of which salTatloD the pTO{4iets hav« en* 

auind and Marchad dlligently» who propbeiisil of 
ie grace that should come unto you : 
Vjbb. 11. Seardiing what or what maoner of time, 
the Spirit of Chxbt which was in them did signi- 
fy, when It testified beforduind the sufferings of 
Christ* and the glory that should follow. 
VsR. 12. Unto whom it was levealed, that not OBr 
to themselves, but unto us, they did minister tho 
thin« which are now reported unto you by them 
that nave preached the gospd unto you with the 
Holy Ghost sent down fh>ra neaven ; which things 
the angete desire to look into. 

It is the ignorance, or at least Ae incon- 
sideration of ditine things, that makes earth* 

« Lauda mellk dulcedlnem quantum pOtes* qui noo 
gustaverit, turn totelUset Aira. 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



{CHJLF. !•' 



\y tUagSy vhetiitt good or evil, appear great 
in our eyes : therefore the aposde^s great aim 
i9y by zepresenting the certainty and excel- 
lency of the belief and hope of ChriitianB to 
his afflict farethien, to stren^en their 
minds against all discouragements and oppo- 
sitions ; that they may account nothing too 
hard to do or suffer, for so high a cause, and 
so happy an end. It is the low and mean 
thoughts, and the shallow persuasion we have 
of things that are spiritual, that is the cause 
(ji all our remissness and coldness in tliem. 
The doctrine of salvation, mentioned in the 
former vene, as the end of our Christian 
fiutfa, is iHuBtrated in these words, finm its 
antiquity, dignity, and in&llible truth. 

It is no modem invention ; for the pro- 
phets enquired after it, and fovetold it in 
toner ages ftom the beginning. Thus the 
prejudice of novelty is removed, that usually 
meeta the most ancient truth in Us new dis- 
O0v«Eief. 

Again, it is no mean thing that such men 
MB were oif oBquestioBed eminency in wisdom 
and holinoBs did so much study and seardi 
after ; and having found it out, were cazefU 
not only to publidi it in their own times, but 
Id record it to posterity ; and this not by the 
private moticxn of thdr own spirits, but by 
the acthig and guidance of the Spirit of God, 
which likewise sets the truth of their testi- 
many above all doubtftdness and uncertainty. 

But taking those tliree veises entirely to- 
gether, we have in them Uwse three things, 
testifying how excellent the doctrine of the 
goipel is : 1. We have the principal andior 
of it; 2. The matter of it; 3. The worth 
of those that are exerdsed about it, «tjir. the 
best of men, the prophets and sposdes, in ad- 
ministering it, and the best of all the crea- 
tures, the angels, in admiring it. 

I. The first author is the abadlutdy^frf^, 
the Spirit of Ood in the prophets, ver. 11, 
In the apostles, vee. 12. But ver. 11, the 
Spirit of Christ there, is the same Spirit that 
he sent down on his disciples affcer his as- 
cending to glory, and which spoke in his 
prophets befbre his descending to the earth. 
It is the Spirit of Christ, proceeding joindy 
f!t0m him with the Father, as he is the Son 
of Ood, .and dwelling most ricUy and fully 
in him as the Son of man. 

The Holj Ghost is in ^himself holiness, 
and the source and worker of holiness, and 
author of this holy doctrine that breathes 
nothing but holiness, and urges it most press- 
ingly upon all that receive it. 

This is the very life of divine fiuth, 
touching the mysteries of salvation, finnly 
to believe their revelation by the Spirit of 
God. This the word itself testifies, as we 
see, and it is really manifest in it i it carries 
the lively stamp of divine inspbarion, but 
there must be a spiritual eye to discern it. 
He that is blind knows not that the sun 



shines at noon, but by the report of othen ; 
but they that see, are assured they see it, 
and assured by no other thing, but by its 
own light. To ask one that is a trae be- 
liever. How know you the scriptures to be 
divine ? is the same as to ask him, How know 
you light to be light ? 

The soul is nothing but darkness and 
blindness within, till that same Sjdrit that 
shines without in the word, shine likewise 
within it, and effectually make it light ; but 
that once done, then is the word read with 
some measure of the same spirit by whidi it 
was written, and the soul is ascertained &at 
it is divine, as in bodily sight there must 
be a meeting of inward light, viir. the visual 
qdrits with the outward objed. 

The Spbit of God within, brings evidoiM 
with it, and makes itself discernible in the 
word; this aU arguments, sll books and 
study, cannot attain unto. It U given Us 
beHef>ey PhiL i. 39. 

No man knows the thinge of a man^ htU 
the spirit of many I Cor. ii. 11. But how 
holds that here P For if a man speak ont 
tlie things that are in his spirit, thai others 
may know them ; but the apostle^s aim there 
is, to ocndude that the things of God, even 
such as were revealed in his word, could not be 
known but by his own Spirit ; so diat though 
revealad, yet they remain still nnrevealed, 
till the Sidrit teach within, as well as with, 
out ; because they ere intelligible by non^ 
but by those diat are the private ocholait 
and hearers of the Holy Ghost, the audior 
of them; and because there ere so itw of 
these, therefore diere is so litde reel b». 
lieving amongst all ttie noise and profearion 
that we make of it. Wbo is there (if yon 
will believe them) that belioves not P And 
yet tzu^ here is too much cause to continue 
the Prophet's regret. Who hath believed our 
report f Isa. liii. 1. 

Learn then to suspect yourselves, and to 
find out your own unbelief, that you may 
derire this Sjnrit to teach you inwardly those 
great mysteries that he outwardty reveak, 
and teadies by his word. Make use i^ 
that promise, snd press the Lord with It, 
They shaU he ail Umghi of God, Isa. Ht. 
18, and John vi. 45. 

But, II. There is here the matter of this 
doctrine, which we have in three several ex« 
pressionsi 1. That which is repeated fbom 
the fbregoing verse, it is the doctrine of eat* 
vaOon that is the end of it ; 2. The doe* 
trine q^ ^ sufferings and glory qf Christy 
as the means; and 3. Thtdoetrine<tfgraoef 
the spring of both. 

1. It is the doctrine of salva^ony the only 
true doctrine of true liappiness, which thie 
wisest of natural men have groped an4 
sought after with much earnestness, bnt 
with no success : They had no other than 
the dark moon4ight of nature, and ^at is 



Yx^, lo— 12.] 



THJE FIRST EPISTLE 0¥ PETER. 



SA 



not tuffideot to fiii4 it out ( only the Sim 
oi RighteoMDeBSy shilling in the sphen of 
the goqwly Mnps life and mmortaki^ ia 
fis^^ 8 Tim, i. 10. No wander that n»i> 
tnral wisdom, the deepest of it, is fiv in«D 
fiadixtg out the true method and wajof ewe, 
mamg it eaanot diecoFor the diseMe of mi* 
fei^M mwVjpil, fi|r„ ih« iinfiil and vietoh* 
fld < » p dUiflp i of namie hj the fimt diir 
idiedienee. 

Saivation esprea^ee oot only that which 
is negaiiTe, but implies likewise positive and 
perfect hairiness : This ^giTenpes of sins 
is ]mt for the whole nature of justification 
ftequenilj in laiptuie^ It U more easy to 
say of this unspeskable happiness what it 
is not, than wha( it is. There is in it a fiiU 
and final ficeedom fiom all annoyance t all 
teais are wiped away, and their fountain is 
dried up ; all feeling and foar, or danger of 
any the least evil, either of sin or pijiiish. 
ment, is banished for ever $ there ase no in^ 
TaaloDB of enemies, no robbing or destroying 
in all this holy mountain, no voice of com- 
plaining m the streets of the New Jerusa- 
lem. HeOB it is at the best but in^changes 
cf mornings of joy, with sad evenings of 
weeping ; But th^ie, these shall be no light, 
no need of sun nor moon, far the glory of 
the Lord shall lighten it, and the Lamk 
shall be the light thereqf, Bov. xxi. 23. 

Well may the apostle, as he doth here 
thsougbout this chapter, lay tliis salvation to 
eouDterbalance all sorrows and persecutions, 
and whatsoever hardships can be in the way 
to it. The soul that is persuaded of this, 
in the midst of storms and tempests, enjoys 
a calm, triumphs in disgraces, grows richer 
by all its loises, and, by death itself, attains 
thia inmoortal life. 

Happy are they that have their eyes fixed 
Bpoo tlds salvation, and are longing and 
waiting fiir it, that see so much of that 
hrighmess and glory, as dariLens all the 
Instee of all escdily things to them, and 
makes them trample upon &ose things which 
formerly they admired and doated on with 
the rest of the foolish world. Those things 
we account so much of, are but as rotten 
wood or glow-wonns, that shine only in the 
nig^t of our ignorance and vanity : So soon 
aa the li^u beam of this salvation enters 
into the soul, it cannot much esteem or af- 
fect any thing below it ; and if those glances 
of it that shine in the word, and in ue soul 
cf a Chxistian, be ao bright and powerful, 
a hat then shall the full sight and real pos- 
session of it be ? 

The gospel is represented as the doctrine 
of the sufferings and glory of Christy as 
the means ef salvation. The worker of 
this salvation, whom the prophets and 
•posdes make the sum of all their doctrine, 
i& Jesujs Christy and the sum of that work of 
redemption, as we have it here, is his hu« 



miliatioB and exaltatiw; h|s suffeyijigi, ^nd 
the gUay that followad thepeupon. Now, 
though this serve aa an mrniirifliiiMim |# 
Christiins in their sufstrngv, tl^t dM« if 
the way by which theiv Lord wtent int0 hi$ 
gtofy and is tine also pf Chiiat myiltcf4» 
the hMd with the memheri, «s the sfdp* 
turns ofom teaoh us; yet I conceivfi it if 
hea» mainly intended as • summaiy ef tht 
work of our ledemptioo by Jesus Chiist^ 
iislating to the salvation mentionedy ver, 10, 
and as the cause for the efot, s# is it put 
for it hersp The pmiibets enqiwdy and 
pmphesied of that salvation. How ? Bf 
seairbipg out md foKatf^lling Ote MiiffviBgf 
««d ^pry of Chfiit : His vaS&mg then, 
imd hi« after gkfies, jfe piy sf^vadon. Hl« 
suffering is the purdiase of our salvation^ 
and his gifuy is our assusanoe pf it ; he m piur 
Head having triumphad, and beipg cnnsiiv 
ed, mqkea us likewise sure of viptoigr, and 
diumph. His having pntesed on die pos<- 
sessioB of ghwy, mskes our hojpe certain i 
this i^ his v»YpTf That where he is, fhepfi 
we may be also, aiid this bis owp assertion^ 
the glory whieh thou gavest me, I hafkf 
given them, John xvii. 2^ 24 ; this is Mf 
promise Because I Iwe, ye shall live alsOf 
John xiv. 19. Christ and the believer aca 
one : this is that great mystery the apostle 
speaks of, £ph. v* 3D, 32. Though it is f 
common known truth, the wozds and out* 
side of it obvious to all, yet none can uftv 
derstand it but they that indeed partake pf 
it. By virtue of that uoipn, their sins were 
accounted his, and Christ's suiferings ar^ 
accounted theirs, and by consequence, hif 
gloiy, the Gonseqiient of his suflfbrings, is 
likewise theirs : There is 99 I'ndissdubla 
connexicvi betwixt the life of Christ, and of 
a believer ; our life is hid with Christ i^ 
God i and therefore, while we rpn^^ the^l^ 
our lifo is there, though hid, and when hf 
who is our life shall appear, we likewise 
shall appear with him in glory, Col, iiit 
3, 4. Seeing the^ufieringB and glory of 
our Redeemer are the main subject of the 
gospel, and the causes of our salvation an4 
our comfortable pemuasion of it, it is 9 
wonder that they ane not more the matter of 
our thoughts. Shoidd we not daily oonsider 
the bitterness of that cup of wrath he drunk 
for us, and be wrpught to repent^ce and 
hatred of aim to have sin embitteqed to us 
by that (ConsideTation, and find the mpppaea^ 
of his love in that he did drink it, aud by 
that, be deejdy possessed with love to him ? 
These things we now and then speak of, 
but they sink not into our minds, as our 
Saviour exhorts, where he is speaking of 
those same sufferings. Oh ! that they wen? 
engraven on oiur hearts, and th^t sin wer^ 
crucified in us, and the world crucified (9 
us, and we unto the wo^l^ hf ^ ^^^ ^ 
Chrfiit, GaJ. vi. 14, . 



86 



A COMMENl'ARV UPON 



[chap. r. 



And let us be frequently canudering the 
glory wherein he is, and have our eye often 
upon that, and our hearts solacing and re- 
freshing ^emselyes frequently with thoughts 
of that place and condition wherein C^st 
is, and where our hopes are ere long to be* 
hold him ; both to see his glory, and to be 
l^orified with him. Is it not reason, yea it 
Is necessary ; it camiot be otherwise, if our 
treasure and head ^ ihersy that our hearts 
be there Hkewiee^ Mat vi. 21 ; CoL iii. 1, 2. 

The third expression here of the gospel 
is, That it it the doctrine of grace. The 
work of redemption itself, and the several 
parts of it, and the doctrine revealing it, have 
all the name of grace, because they all flow 
ttotn ftee grace; that is their spring and 
first cause. 

And it is this wherein the doctrine of 
salvation is mainly comfortable, that it is 
ftee, Ve are saved by grace, £ph. ii. 8. 
It is true Ood requires &ith, it is through 
&ith ; but he that requires that gives it too : 
That is not qf pourselveSf it is the gift qf 
God, £ph. ii. 8. It is wonderful grace to 
save upon believing ; believe in Jesus for 
salvation, and live accordingly, and it is 
done ; there is no more requiied to thy par- 
don, but that thou receive it by fidth. But 
truly nature cannot do this ; it is as impos- 
sible for us of ourselves to believe, as to do. 
This then is that which makes it all grace 
frofta beginning to end, that Ood not only 
saves upon bdieving, but gives believing 
itself. Christ is caUed not only the author 
and finisher of our salvation, but even of 
our faith, Heb. xn, 2. 

Free grace being rightly apprehended, is 
that which stays the heart in all estates, and 
keeps it from fiuntlng, even in its saddest 
times : What though there is nothing in 
myself, but matter of sorrow and discomfort ! 
It cannot be otherwise! It is not from my- 
self that I look for comfort at any time, but 
iVom ray Ood and hia free grace. Here is 
comfort enough fbr aU times ; when I am at 
the best I ought not, I dare not rely upon 
myself; when I am at the worst, I may, and 
should rely upon Christ, and his sufficient 
grace. Though I be the vilest sinner that 
ever came to him, yet I know he is more gra- 
cious than I am sinful ; yea the more my sin 
is, the more glory will it be to his grace to 
pardon it ; it will appear the richer : Doth 
not David argue thus, PsaL xzv. 11, For 
thy name^s sake, O Lord, pardon mine 
iniquity, for it is great t But it is an empty 
fhiitless notion of grace, to consider it only 
In the general, and in a wandering way. 
We are to look upon it particularly, as ad- 
dressed to us, and it is not enough that it 
comes to us, in the message of him that 
brings it only to our ear, but that we may 
know what it is, it must come into us, then 
it it ours indeed ; but if it come to us In the 



message only, and we send it away again, if 
it shall so deport, we had better never hare 
heard of it ; it will leave a guiltiness behind 
it, that shall make all our sins weigh modi 
heavier than before. 

Inquire whether you h^e entertained thia 
grace or not, whether it be come to you, and 
into you, or not ; whether the kingdom of 
God is within you, as our Saviour speaks^ 
Luke xvU. 21. It is the most woeful [con- 
dition that can be, not to be far from the 
kingdom of Ood, and yet to fall short, and 
miss of it. The grace of Ood revealed in 
the gospel, is intreating you daily to receive 
it, is willing to become yours, if you reject 
it not Were yonr eyes open to behold the 
beauty and excellency of this grace, 'there 
woidd need no deliberation ; yea, you would 
endure none : Desire your eyes to be open- 
ed, and enlightened from above, that you 
may know it, and your hearts opened, that 
you may be happy by receiving it 

The apostle, speaking of Jesus Christ, as 
the foundation of our &ith, calls him the 
same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever, 
Heb. xiii. 8. Yesterday, under the law, /o- 
day, in those primitive times, nearest his in- 
carnation, and for ever, in all succeeding 
ages. fAnd the resemblance holds good be- 
tween the two cherubims over the mercy-seat, 
and the two Testaments ; those had their 
faces one toward another, and both toward the 
mercy-seat ; and these look to one another 
in their doctrine, agreeing perfectly ; end 
both look to Christ, Sie true mercy-seat, and 
the great subject of the scriptures. ) This we 
see here, the things that die propnets fere- 
told to come, and the apostles reported were 
accomplished, were the same, and firom the 
same Spirit; they were the sufferings of 
Christ, and his after glory, and in them our 
salvation by free grace. The prophecies 
look forward to the times of the gospd ; and 
the things then fulfilled, look back to the 
prophecies; and each confirms the other, 
meeting all in Christ, who is their truth and 
centre. 

We have spoken already of the author, 
and subject of this salvation. Now we come 
to say something. III. Concerning the worth 
of those who are employed about it, as well 
in administering to it, as in admiring it. 
And those are, the prophets and apostles ; 
the first foretold what was to come, the 
second preached them when they came to 
pass. ' 

In the prophets there are three things here 
remarked: 1. Their diligence; 2. The 
success of it ; 3. The extent dP Its useful- 
ness. 

1. This their diligence disparages not 
their extraordinaxy visions and revelations, 
and that which added, that the Spirit of 
Christ was in them^ and did foretell the things 
to come. 



rvu ia-.12.] 



TH£ FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



37 



It was their amstttit duty, and they be- 
ing icninhle of their duty^ made it their con- 
etant exerdM, to eeuch into divine myeteriee, 
by meditation and ptayei ; yea, and by read- 
ing such holy wiiten as wen aheady extant 
in their times, as Dan. ix. 3 ; x. 11. For 
which cause, some taking the word actively, 
coooeiYe Daniel to be cidkd theie a tnan of 
deriregy because of his great desire, and dili- 
gent search after the knowledge of those 
hi^ things. And in this dUigent way, 
they constantly waited fat these rerelations, 
wh^ sometimes, when it seoned good unto 
the Spirit of Ood, were imparted unto them. 
^< Prophecy resideth not (say the Hebrew 
docton) but in aman that is great in wisdom 
and virtue, whose affections overcome him 
not in any worldly things ; but by his know- 
ledge he cvveroometh his affections continual- 
ly ; on such a man the Holy Spirit oometh 
down, and his soul is associated to the angels, 
and he is changed to another man." Thus 
Maimonides. 

It was the way of the prince of darkness 
amongst the idolatrous Gentiles, to speak 
either through senseless statues, or where he 
uttered his oracles, by such pro&ne prophets 
as he had, to cause them in a fury to tumble 
forth words which they understood not, and 
knew not what they said. But the Spirit of 
God being light, and the holy prophets in- 
spired with it, they being diligent attendants 
oo its motions, and searchers of the mysteries 
€f salvation, understood well what their busi- 
DCfls was, and to what purpose those things 
of the kingdom of Christ tended, which they 
by inspiration did foretell; and therefore 
bended their thoughts this way, prajring, 
searching, and waiting for answers, studying 
to keep the passage, as it were, open for the 
beams of those divine revelations to come in 
at; not to have their spirits clogged and 
stopped with earthly and sinful i^ections, 
endeavouring for that calm and quiet com- 
posure of spudt, in which the voice of God's 
S]Mrit might be the better heard. Thus 
PsaL Ixxxv. 8, and Hab. ii. 1. In both 
which places follow an excellent prophecy 
eonoeming Christ, and that salvation which 
he wrought for his people. 

Were the prophets not exempted from the 
pains of search and inquiry, that had the 
Sfurit^f God, not only in a high measure, 
but after a singular manner ! How unseem- 
ing then is slothfulness and idleness in us ! 
Whether is it, that we judge ourselves ad- 
vantaged with more of the Spirit than those 
holy men ? or that we esteem the doctrine 
and mysteries of salvation, on which they 
bestowed so much of their labour, unworthy 
of ours ? These are both so gross, that we 
will be loth to own either of them : and yet 
our laziness and negligence in searching after 
those things, seems to charge us with some 
such thought S8 one of those. 



You will say, this concerns those that 
succeed to the woik of the prophets and apos- 
tles in ordinary, the ministers of the gospcL 
And it doth indeed £dl first upon them. It 
is their task indeed to be diligent, and as 
the apostle exhorts his Timothy, to atiend 
on reading^ 1 Tim. iv. IS, but above all to 
study to have much experimental knowledge 
of God, and his son Jesus Christ ; and Sx 
this end to disentangle and free themselves 
as much as is possible from lower things to 
the search of heavenly mysteries, Prov. xviii. 
1. As they are called angels, so ought they 
to be, as much as they can attain to it, in 
a constant nearness unto God, and attend- ^ 
ance on him, like unto the angels, and look 
much into these things, as the ai^els here 
are said to do ; to endeavour to have their 
souls purified bam the affections of sin, that 
the light of divine truth may shine dear in 
them, and not be fogged and misted with 
filthy vapours ; to have the impressions of 
God clearly written on their breasts, not 
mixed and blurred with earthly characters, 
seasoning all their readings and common way 
of studies with much prayer and divine me- 
ditation. They that converse most with the 
King, and are inward with him, know most 
of the affairs of state, and even the secrets of 
them, that are hid from others : And cer- 
tainly those of God's messengers that are 
oftenest with himself, cannot but understand 
their business best, and know most of hi^ 
meaning, and the affairs of his kingdom. 
And to that end it is confessed, that singular 
diligence is required in them ; but seeing the 
Lord hath said without exception, that hU 
secret is with them that fear him^ PsaL 
XXV. 14, and that he will reveal himself and 
his saving truths to those that humbly seek 
them ; do not any of you yourselves so much 
injury, as to bar yourselves from sharing in 
your measure of tha search of these same 
things, that were the study of the prophets, 
and which by their study and publisiiing 
them, are made the more accessible and easy 
to us. Consider that they do concern us uni- 
versally, if we would be saved ; for it is sal- 
vation here that they studied. Search the 
Scriptures, says our Saviour, and that is the 
motive, if there can be any that may be thought 
in reason pressing enough, or if we do indeed 
think so, for in them ye think to have eter* 
not itfe ; and it is there to be found. Christ 
is thistfo/t^o^ion, snd that eternal life ,* and he 
adds further, it is they (those scriptures) that 
testify of me, John v. 39. These are th^ 
golden mines in which alone the bidding 
treasures of eternity are to be found, and 
therefore worthy all the digging ^and pains 
we can bestow on them. 

Besides their industry, in this inqi;iry and 
search, there is here expressed their ardent 
affection to the thing they prophesied of, and 
their longings and wishes for its accomplish*! 



to 



A COMMfiNTARY UPON 



[CUaP. t. 



meut, Hm, die coming of Jems Cbriit, the 
ptouised Metfliah, the top dfiOI (heir dietites, 
tlie gteot hope tf&d the light of IbtmI. No 
wonder they desired hU dap, Aat had lo 
touch jop in the seeing tl so fiv Offj as ovA 
ihe head almost of two thousand yean. 
IVdth oTedooking them, and fbreseefaig it to 
111 Ahnham, hb heart danced iUr joy, Jikai 
ttii. 86, Abtaham Mto my day and rejcieed. 
And this is cohceited to he the meaning 
of those expressions ih that mystical song, 
as they suit those times of the Jewish church, 
breathing out her longings ibr the coming <^ 
her Beloved. His speaking by the prophets, 
was his Tolcc as afitf oifF; but his incarnation 
was his coming near, and kissing his church 
19<M the kisses of his mouth, as Cant. chap, 
i. Ter. 1 ; and to omit other exptessions 
throughout the Song, ihe last chapter, Ter. 

I, is tender and pathetical, Oh I thai thou 
i»eft as my brother, &c. and the last words 
of it, Make haste, my Beloved, and he thou 
Hke a roe, or a young hart, upon the fflotin- 
tains qf spices. And when this salvation 
came in the fUness of time, we see how Joy* 
ftdly good old Simeon embraces it, and 
thought he had seen enough, and therefore 
upon the sight desired to have his eyes dos- 
ed. Haw let thy sert/ant depart in peace, 
for my eyes have seen thy salvation, Luke 

II. 20, 80. Therefore our Saviour sajrs to 
his apostles. Matt. zlil. 16, Blessed are your 
eyes, for they see, for many prophets and 
righteous men have desir^ to see those 
things'whieh ye see, and have not seen them. 
This is he whom we disesteem and make 
to small account of, being now so dearly re- 
vealed, that they studied, and sought, and 
wished so much for, so many ages before. 

2dly, The success of their search is re- 
marked : In seeking they found the certainty, 
and the time of his comhig ; they sought out 
till they found, and then they prophesied of 
that salvation, and grace; they searched 
^hai, and iohat manner of time, and the 
Spirit did manifestly foretell it them. 

They sought to know what manner of 
Hme it should come to pass, vig, in a time 
of great distress, and bad estate of the peo- 
pie, as all the prophets testify, and particu- 
larly that place, Oen. zlix. 10, gives an ex- 
press character of the time ; though there be 
some diversity of exposition of the particu- 
lar words, yet the main sense is agreed on 
by aU sound interpreters, and the Chaldee 
Paraphrase hath it expressly, that that 
Shihh U the Messiah. 

And of his sufierings and after-glotles 
they prophesied very dearly, as Psal. xxi. 
In. liii. &c. And our Saviour himsdf 
makes use of their testimony in both these 
points, Luke xxiv. 25, 26, 2?. 

9dly, There is the benefit of thdr seareh 
and finding, in the extent of it, in verse 13, 
to the believen in the apostles* times, and 



to the sucesedltig Chilsttan dnirdi, ind so 
to us in these days : but in some peeuHar 
setose the prophets ministered to the people 
of those times, wfaeidn Christ did snfftr, and 
enter into glory : for that were the font that 
enjoyed the accomplishment of those prOphe« 
des, they being f^ilfllled in their Ofwn di^ 

The prophets knew wdl that the things 
they propheded, were not to be fiilfllled in 
their own times, at^ thereAwe itt their pro- 
phesying ooticernlng them, thou^boih them- 
sdves, and people of Ood Aat wtfe oontem- 
poraxy with them, did reap the comfort of 
that doctrine, and were by fidth partakers of 
the same salvation, atid so it was to them- 
sdves as wdl as of us, yet in regard of the 
accomplishment, they knew it was not to 
themselves, it was not to be brought to 
pass in their days; and therefore, speak- 
ing of the glory of Ghrist*s kingdom, they 
often foretell it fbr the latter days, as didr 
phnse is. And as we have the things 
they prophesied of, so we have this pecu- 
liar benefit of their prophedes, that their 
suiting SQ perfectly with die event and per- 
fbrmance, serves much to conform our Cluns- 
tian fUth. 

There is a foolish and mlsersble war of 
verifying this ; men ministering the doe- 
trine of salvation to others and not to tfaem- 
sdves, carrying it all in tfadi heads, and 
tongues, and none of it in thdr hearts ; not 
hearing it even while they preach it ; readi- 
ing the bread of life to odiers, and eating 
none of it themsdves. And this the apos- 
tle says, that he was most careAil to avoid, 
and ^erefore dealt severdy with his body, 
that it might not this way endanger his 
soul : / beat down my body, says he, etnd 
keep it in subjection, lest when I have 
preached to others, I myself should be a 
cast-away, 1 Cor. ix. 27. It is not fai this 
sense, that the prophets ministered to others, 
and not to themselves. No, they had joy 
and comfbrt in the very hopes of the Re- 
deemer to come, and the belief of the things 
that any others had spoke, and that them- 
sdves spoke concerning him. V And thus the 
true preachers of the gospd, though their 
ministerial gifts are fbr the use of others, yet 
that salvation they preach, they lay hdd on, 
and partake of dtemsdves, as your boxea 
wherein perfUmes are kept for garments, and 
other uses, are themselves peifhmed by keep- 
ing then^^^^/-— 

We see how the prophetf ministered It, 
as the never-failing consolation of the chureh 
in those days. In dl their distresses ; It is a 
wonder, when they are foretdling dther 
the sorrows and afflictiotis, or temporal re- 
storement and deliverances, of that people of 
the Jews, what sudden outleaps mey will 
make to speak of the kingdom of JestiA 
Christ, and the days of the gospel. Insomuch 
thnt he who considers not tfae Spirit they 



rzR, 10l^12.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



S0 



woe moved by, would think it weie inoohe* 
taut, and impertliiencf ; but they knew wdl 
what they meant, diat tfaoee newi were never 
imwatonnMii^ nor beside the ptixpoae ; that 
tibe sweetness of those thoughts, vie. the con« 
■identfwm of die Messiah, was »ble, to such 
as beiieTed, to allay the bitterest distresses, 
and diat die great deUyerance he was to 
woik, was the top and sum of all deUveiBnces. 
Thus their propheeies of him were present 
eomibrt to theaaaelTes, and other betievers 
then ; and further, were to aenre for a dear 
evidence of the divine truth of those myste- 
ries in the days of the gospel, in and after 
their fulfilling. 

Tfaia sweet stream of dieir doctrine did, 
as the rivers, make its own banks fertile and 
pleasant, aa it ran by, and flowed still for- 
ward to after ages, and by the confluence of 
moie such prophecies, grew greater as it 
went, till it fell in with £e m^ cunent of 
the gospel in die New Testament, both act- 
ed and pieadied by the great Prophet him. 
self, whom they foretold to ecmey and re- 
corded by his apostles and evangelists, and 
thus united into one river, dear as crystaL 
This doctrine of salvation in the scriptures, 
hath still refieshed the dty of €h)d, his 
church under the gospel, and still shall do 
ao^ tin it empty itself into the ocean of eter- 
nity. 

The first discovery we have of this stream 
nearest its source, the eternal purpose of di- 
vine mercy^ is in that promise whidi the Lord 
bimself pieadied in few words to our first 
pawmn, diat had newly made themsdves 
and their cace misemble. The seed of the 
wmium shatt break the head qf the serpent, 
Gen. iii. 15. 

The agreement of dieir predictions with 
the things themsdves, and the preaching of 
the apostles fellowing the other kind of men 
employed in this salvadoo, make up one 
organ, or great instnnnen^ tuned by the 
same hand, and sounding by the same breath, 
of the Spirit of Ood, and that is expressed 
here, as die «fttnmon authority of the doc- 
trine in bodi,yand the cause of their har- 
mony and agreement in it. 

AJL these extraordinary ff{fts of the Holy 
Ghetty the calling ofprophete and apoetlee 
and evanpelistif and the ordinary ministen 
of the gospd bp pattors and teaehere, tend 
to diat great design that Ood hath in MiA. 
ing hie ehvreh, making up diat great assem- 
bly of an the elect, to enjoy and praise him 
fiir an eternity, £ph. iv. 11. For this end 
sent he his Son out of his bosom, and for 
thia end sends he forth his messengers to 
dindge that salvation that his Son hath 
wrought, and sends down his Spirit upon 
them, that they may be fitted ibr so high a 
service. Those cherubims wonder how guilty 
man escapes their flaming swords, and re- 
cnten paradise. The angels see that their 



companioiia that ieU are not restored, but 
thdr room filled up with the spirits of juM 
men, and they envy it not ; whieh mpeterp 
the OHffek deekre to lock tnto ; and thia is 
added in the dose of these words for the e^ 
tolling of it. 

The angels look upon what they have 
seen already fulfiUed wiUi delight and ad*- 
miration, and what remains, namdy, the flill 
accomplishment of diis great work in die 
end of time, they look upon, with desire to 
see it finished; it is not a slight glance 
they take of it, but they fix their eye, and 
look stedfestly on it, vt>. that mystery of 
godliness, God manifested . in , the flesh g 
and it is added, se^ of angels, 1 Tim. iii. 
16. 

The Word made flesh, draws the eyes of 
those glorious spirits, and possesses diem 
with wonder, to see the almighty Oodhead 
joined with the weakness of a man, yea, of 
an infent. He diat stretcheth fordi the 
heavens, bound up in swaddling clothes i 
And to pass aU the wonders of his life, thia 
is beyond an admiration, diat the Lord c^f 
Life was subject to death, and that his love 
to rebdUous mankind moved him both to 
take on, and lay down that life. - 

It is no wonder the angels admire those 
things, and delight to look upon them ; 
but it is strange that we do not so. They 
view them stedfestly, and we neglect them { 
dther we consider diem not at sB, or give 
them but a transient look, half an eye. That 
whidi was the great business of the prophets 
and aposdes, both for their own times, and 
to convey them to us, we regard not ; and 
turn our eyes to fboUsh wandering thoughts, 
whidi angeU are ashamed at They are not 
so conoerned in diis great mystery as we are ; 
they are but mere behdders in comparison 
of us, yea, they seem nther to be losers some 
way, diat our nature, in itself inferioK t9 
theirs, is in Jesus Christ exalted above theirs, 
Heb. ii. 16. We bow down to the earth, and 
study and grovd in it, rake into the veiy 
bowds of it, and content oursdves with the 
outside of the wnsearchable riehes of Chriet, 
and look not widdn it ; but they having no 
win nor desue, but fev the glory of Ood, 
being pure flames of fire, burning oidy in 
love to him, are no less dc^^ted than tenas* 
ed with die bottomless wonden of his wis* 
dom and goodness shining in the work of 
OUT redemption. 

It is our shame and our foUy that we lose 
oursdves and our thoughts in poor diildish 
things, and trifle away our days we know not 
how, and let these rich mysteries lie unrb- 
gaxded. They look upon die Ddtyinit^ 
self widi continual admiration ; but then they 
look down to this mystery as another wonder. 
We give them an ear in public, and in a 
cold formal way stop consdence's mouth, 
with some religious performances in private^ 



40 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[chap, f 



laid no more : Bat to have deep and fiequent 
ihougfati, and to be ravished in the medita- 
tion of our Loid Jenu, once on the aoea and 
now in glory, how few of us are acquainted 
5rith this ! 

We see here excellent company and ex- 
amples, not only of the best of men that have 
beoi, but we have them feUow-servants and 
iellow-students ; if that can persuade us, we 
may all study the same lesson with the very 
•ngds, and have the same thoughts with 
ihtm. This the soul doth that often enter- 
tains itself with the delightful admiration of 
Jesus Christ, and the redemption he hath 
wrought for us. 

VsR. la. Whcreftsre gird up the lofiis of your mind, 
be lober, and hope to the end, for the f(na that 
li to be brought unto you St the revelatlaa of 
Jenu Christ. 

The great enor of man*8 mind, and the 
cause of all his eiron of life, is the diverting 
of the soul from Ood, and turning downward 
to inferior confidences and comforts ; and 
this miscboioe is the very root of all our mi- 
series : Therefore the jnain end of the holy 
Word of God, is to untie the hearts of men 
from the world and reduce them to God, as 
their only rest and solid comfort ; and this 
is here the apostle*s mark, at which all the 
preceding discourse aims ; it all meets and 
teiminates in this exhortation, Wherefore 
gird up the loins of your mind. 

In the words are those three things : Ist, 
The great stay and comfort of the noviy which 
the apostle repeats, and represents to his 
afflicted brethren : 2diy, His exciting them 
to the right apprehension and confident ex- 
pectation of it ; 3dli/, The inference of that 
exhcwtation. 

I. The great matter of their comfort is, 
the grace tehich is brought to them at the 
revelation ofJesue Christ. Some for grace 
read jog, having, as it seems, for ;^«^<v read 
X*t** ' the woids are not more near one to 
another than the things they signify, grace 
and joyy but it is commonly thus read. 

The estate of grace and that of glory are 
not only so inseparably connected, but so 
like one to the other, yea so essentially the 
fame, that the same expressions in scripture 
do of^ fit both of them, and so fit them, that 
it is doubtful for which of the two to under- 
stand them ; but the hasard is not great, see- 
ing they are so nesr, and so one grace being 
glory begun, and glory grsce completed, 
both are of^ called the kingdom of God. 
80 grace here brought to them is ^e doc- 
trine of grace in the gospel, wherein Jetus 
Christ istevealed, and Uiat grsce in him ; 
for all the whole tenor of the covenant of 
grace, and every clause of it, holds in him. 
His precious name runs through it all, it is 
the grsce of salvation to be fully perfected at 
the last and clearest revelation of Jesus 
phrist ; and for this rather I take it here, | 



for thai the aposdc^'s nearest fixegoing woida 
were eonceming that, and it is set up henaa 
the object of hope, which thfitigfa ofien pot 
for faith, yet in its proper notion, looks out 
to that which is to ocnne. 

This is the last act of grsee, and yet 
still it is called by itself, and not turned into 
the name of merit, notwithstanding all th« 
obedience, and all the sufferings of the saints 
that have gone before it ; yea,, even the eal^ 
vation to berevealed to them is called grace. 
But it is needless to insist on this, fur cer- 
tainly none that partake of grace will be of 
another mind, or ever admit the mixture of 
the least noti<Ni of self-deserving. 

Though much dispute hath been bestow- 
ed on this, and questions multiplying in the 
disputants* hands, as is usual in cootiover- 
sies, one growing out of another : yet truly 
I think the debate in this to be but waste ; 
it is not only against the voice of the scrip- 
tures, and of grace itself in the soul, but even 
against sound reason, to imagine any merit- 
ing, properly taken, in any mere creature at 
his Creator*8 hands, who hath given him bia 
being, of which gift all his services and obe- 
dience foil short ; so that he can never come 
to be upon even disengaged tenns, much less 
to oblige anew, afid deserve somewhat fur- 
ther. Besides, that same giaoe, by which 
any serves and obeys God, is likewise hia 
own gift> as it is said, 1 Chron. xxix. 14, 
All things come of thee, andt^ thine own 
have I given thee. Both the ability, and 
the will of giving to him, is from him ; so 
that in these respects, not angels, nor man 
in innocency, could properly merit at the 
hands of God, much 1ms man lost, redeemed 
again, and so coming under the new obliga- 
tion of infinite mercy. And this is so evi- 
dent a truth, that the most learned and most 
ingenious Jesuits and scho61i4nen have in 
divers passages of their writings acknowledg- 
ed it, that there cannot be any compensation, 
and much less merit ftom the creature to 
God, but only in relation to his own ftee 
purpose, and the tenor of his word and co- 
venant, which is inviolable, because he is 
unchangeable, and truth itsdf. 

His fi^t grace he gives ftedy, and no less 
fieely the increases df it, and with the same 
gracious hand, sets the crown of glory upon 
all the grace that he hath given before. It 
is but the following forth of his own woik, 
and fulfilling his own thoughto of free love, 
which love hath no cause, but in himself 
and finds none worthy ; but gives them all 
the worthiness they have, and aooepts of their 
love, not as worthy in itself to be accepted, 
but because he himself hath wrought it in 
them ; not only the first tastes, but the fuU 
draught of the waters of life is fredy given, 
Rev. xxii. 17* Nothing is brou^^ with 
them but thirst. 

That is to be brought,} Not that is 



18.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



41 



bnmghty or thai ihaU be brought; but if 
we will lender it strictly, it is, that is a 
Mnging toj^ou. That blessedness, that 
consummation of grace, the saints are has- 
tcniog forward to, walking on in their way 
whcRSoerer it lies indifeendy, ihrtmgh 
hemtmr and dishowmry through evil report 
and good report^ 2 Cor. Ti. 8. And as they 
ait hastening to it, it is hastening to them 
in the course of time, every day brings it 
nearer to them than before; and noCwith- 
•tanding all difficulties and dangers in the 
way, they that have their eye and hopes 
upon it, shall arrive at it, and it shall be 
brought saie to their hand ; all the malioe 
of men and devils shall not be able to cut 
them shcKt of this gxaoe that is a-bringing 
to them against the day of the revelation of 
Jeeue Christ, 

At the revelath\<^ Jews Chritt,^ This 
is repeated fiom the 7th verse, and it is a 
dap of revelation^ a revelation of the jutst 
judgment of God, Rom. ii. 6. And thus 
it woold be to aU, were it not that it is 
withal the revelation of Jesus Christ; 
dtettlace ia it a day of grace, all light and 
bleasedneao to them that are in him, because 
they shall appear in him ; and if he be ^lo- 
nous, they shall not be inglorious and 
aahamedb Indeed, were our secret sins then 
to be set before our own eyes, in their most 
affiightful visage, and to be set open to the 
view of angds and men, and to the eye of 
divine Justice,, and we left alone so reveal- 
ed, who is there that could gather any com. 
finrt, and would not rather have their thoughts 
filled with horror, at the remembnmce and 
'expectation of that day ? And thus indeed 
an unbelieving and ungodly men may look 
upon it, and find it terrible ; but to those 
that axe shadowed under the robe of righ- 
tcons Jesus, yea, that are made one with 
him, and shall partake of his glory in his 
a^ipearing, it is die sweetest, the most com- 
fiortable thought that their souls can be en- 
tertained and possessed withal, to remember 
tins glorious revelation of their Redeemer. 

It is their great grief here, not that them- 
selves are hated and vilified, but that their 
Lord Jesus is so little known, and therefore 
so much despised in the world ; he is veiled 
and hid finom the world ; many nations ac- 
knoiriedge him not at all; and many of 
those that do in word confess, yet in deed 
deny him ; many that have a form of godli- 
ness, do not only want, but mock and scoff 
at the power of it ; and to such Christ is not 
known, his exoeOencies are hid ftom their 
eyes. Now this glory of their Lord being 
tender to them that love liim, . they rejoice 
much in the consideration of this, that there 
is a day at hand, wherein he shall appear in 
his brightness, and full of glory to all na- 
tions, and all shall be forced to acknowledge 
him ; it shall be without doubt, and unques- 



tioned to an, that here is the Messiah, the 
Redeemer, the Judge of the world. 

And as it is the day of his revelation, it 
is also the revelation of all the adopted sons 
of God in him, Rom. viii. 9. They are 
now accounted the refuse of the worid, ex- 
posed to aU kind of contempts ; but then 
the beams of Christ's glory shall beautify 
them, and they shall be known for his, 1 John 
iii. 2 ; Col. iii. 4. 

Next, there is, 2. The exhortation by 
which the apostle excites them to the right 
apprehension, and confident expectation of 
this grace, hope to the end. The difference 
of these two graces, faith and hope, is so 
small, that the one is often taken for the 
other in scripture; it is but a different 
aspect of the same confidence, faith appro* 
holding the infUlible trath fk those divine 
promises, of which hope doth assuredly ex- 
pect the accomplishment, and that is their 
truth ; so that this immediately results from 
the other. ^ This is the anchor fixed within 
the veil, that keeps the soul firm against all 
the tossings on these swdling seas, and the 
winds and tempests that arise upon them. 
The finnest thing in this inferior worid is a — V 

believing §aviLjj 

( Faith esttflSushes the heart on Jesus 
Christ, and hope lifU it up, being on that 
rode, over the head of all intervenient dan- 
gers, crosses, and temptations, and sees the | 
glory and happiness that follow after them. ^ 

To the end.'l Or perfectly; and ther^ 
fore, the Christian seeks most earnestly, and 
yet waits most patiently, Psal. cxxx. 6» 
Indeed this hope is perifect in continuance; it 
is a hope unto the end, because it is perfect 
in its nature, although imperfect in degree ; 
sometimes doobtings are intermixed with it 
in the Christian soul, get this is their infirm 
mitg, as the Psalmist speaks, Psal. Ixxvii. 
10, not the infirmity and insufficiency of 
the object of their hope. Worldly hopes 
are in their own nature imperfoct, they do 
imply in their very being doubtfulness and 
wavering, because the things whereon they 
are built are inconstant and uncertain, and 
full of deceit and disappointments. How 
can that hope be immoveable,' that is built 
upon moving sands or quagmire ? That 
which is itsc^ unfixed, cannot gjivt stability 
to any other thing resting on it ; but because 
the truth and goodness of the immutable 
God is the foundation of spiritual hope, 
therefore it is assured, and like mowit Zion, 
that cannot be removed, Psal. cxxv. 1, and 
this is its perfection. 

We proceed to consider, Mlg, The con* 
sequence by which this exhortation is en- 
forced. Now the apostle exhorts his brethren 
to endeavour to have their hearts possessed 
with as high a measure and degree of this 
hope as may be, seeing in itself it is so per- 
fect and firm, so assuxvd an hope, that they 



48 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[cnxr. r: 



ngpite to an the attuniice and perfection of 
it they can attain. 

This hope, as I conceive, Is not only to 
have the h^it of it strong in the soul, but 
to act it often, to be often turning that way, 
to view that approaching day of liberty, 
L\ft up your heaeU^ for the day <^f your 
redemption drameth nigh, Luke xzi. 28. 
Where this h<^ is often acted, it will grow 
strong, as all habits do ; and where it is< 
strong, it will work much, and delight to 
act often, and will control both the doubt- 
logs, and the other many impertinent 
thoughts of the mind, and force them to 
yield the place to it. Certainly they that 
long much for that coming of Christ, will 
look often out to it ; we aie usually hoping 
after other things, that do but o£fer them- 
selves to draw us aftsr them, and to scorn 
us. Mliat are the breasts of most of us, 
but so many nests of foolish hopes and fears 
intermixed, that entertain us day and night, 
and steal away our precious hours from us, 
that might be laid out so gainfully upon the 
l^se and sweet thoughts of eternity, and 
upon the blessed and assured hope of the 
coming of our beloved Saviour ? 

The other words of exhortation here used 
are subservient to this end, that this hope 
may be the more perfect and firm ; and a 
similsr exhortation is much after the same 
maimer joined by our Saviour, Luke xii. 
35, with the expectance and waiting for his 
coming; and in this posture the Israelites 
eating the Passover, were expecting their de- 
liverance ; so we our Ml and final fr ee d om. 

If you would have mnch of this, call off 
your affections from other things, that diey 
may be capable of much of it. The same 
eye cannot both look up to heaven, and down 
to earth at the same time; the more your 
affections are trussed up, and disentangled 
from the wocld, the more expedite and active 
will they be in this hope; the more sober 
they are, the less will diey fill themselves 
%rith the coarse delights of earth, the more 
room wiU there be in them, and the more 
they shall be filled with this hope. It is 
great foUy in our spiritual warfare, to charge 
ourselves superfluously. All fulness of one 
thing hinders the receiving and admittance 
of any other, especially of things so opposite 
as these fulnesses are. Be not drunk with 
wtne, wherein is exoest, but be ye filled 
with the Holy Ghost, saith the apostle, 
Eph. V. 18 ; that is, a brutish fVdness makes 
a man no man ; ihit divine fulness makes 
him more than a man : It were happy to 
be so filled with this, as that it might be 
called a kind of drunkenness, as it was with 
the apostles, Acts ii. 

Be sober.] Or wtUeh; the same word 
signifies both, and with good reason: for 
you know the unsober cannot watch. Now, 
though one main part of sobriety, and that 



which more properly and particnlaily beiarfi 
this name, viM. temperance in meat and 
drink, is here intended ; and though against 
the opposite to this, (not only the purity and 
spirituality of religion, but) even moral virtue 
inveighs as its special enemy; yea nature 
itself, and they ^at only naturally cooaider 
the body, and its interest of life and healtfay 
find reason enough to cry down this base 
intemperance, which is so hatefol by ite own 
deformity, and withal cairies ite punishmeni 
along with it ; although, I say, mis sobriety 
is indeed most necessary for the preservation 
of grace and spiritual temper it the soul, 
and is here intended; yet I conceive it is 
not all that is here meant, the word is move 
general, for the modenite and sober use of 
all things worldly, as he says, Gird up the 
loins of your mind, so it is to be understood ; 
let your minds be sobe^ all your affections 
inwardly attempered to your spiritual con- 
dition, not glutting yourselves with fleshly 
and perishing deligfatt of any kind ; fbr the 
more you take in of these, the less you shalb 
have of spiritual comfort and of diis perfect 
hope. They that pour out themselves upon 
present delights, Im^ not like strsngefs and 
hopeful ezpectante of another life, and better 
pleasures. 

And certainly the Captain of our salvatioii 
will not own them for his followers, that He 
down to drink of these waters, but only audi 
as in passing take of .them with Aefar hand. 
As eroessive eating or drinking makes the 
body sickly and lasy, fit fbr nothing bat 
deep ; and besote the mind, as it doys np 
with filthy crudities the way tlwongfa whl^ 
the spirite should pass, bemirlng &tm, and 
making them move heavily as a coach in a 
deep way : Thus doth all immodenUe use 
of the world, and its deiighte, wrong the soul 
in ite spiritual condition, makes it sickly and 
feeble, full of spiritual distempers, and in- 
activity ; benumbs the graces of die Spbit, 
and fills &e soul with sleepy vapours ; makes 
it grow secure and heavy in spiritual exercises, 
and obstructe the way and motion of the 
Spirit of God in the soul ; therefbre, if yon 
would be spiritual, healthM and idgorpnS, 
and enjoy much of die consolations dT hea- 
ven, be sparing and sober in those of Ae 
earth, and what you abate of the one shall 
be certainly made up in the other. Health, 
and a good constitution of body, is a more 
constant remaining pleasure, than that of ex- 
cess and momentary pleasing of the palate : 
Thus the comfbrt of this hope is a more r^ 
fined and more abiding contentitient than any 
that is to be fbund in the passing enjoymente 
of this world ; and it is a fbolish bargain, to 
exchange a drachm of the one fbr many 
pounds of the other. Consider how press- 
ingly the apostle St. Paul reasons, 1 Cor. ix. 
25. And take withal our Savtour^s exhor- 
tation, Be sober and watch, for ye know 



13.] 



THJS FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



4.1 



n9i mi wkmi hour gour Lard wiU wm9y 
Matt. zxv. 13. 

The double'^minded man, sayt St James, 
«t fUuUMe in aU hU wayB^ Jam. i. 8. Al- 
thoa^ the woid signifies usnallj decdtfal* 
nctt and dissimulation of mind, answering 
to the Hebiew phrase of a heart and a heart ; 
jret here I conceive it bath another sense, 
agieeahk to the apostle's present discourne 
snd scope ; it is doubtfulness, and unsettled 
valeting of miild. 

It is impossible that the coarse of life can 
be any other but uneren snd incompoied, if 
die spring of it, the hearty wheaee are the 
ieeuee qf Hfty Ftot. iv. 23, be so. A man 
that is Dot agreed within, not of one mind 
with himself, slthougfa there were nothing 
to tronble nor alter him from without, that 
inward oommotion is a sufficient principle 
and cause of inconstancy : How much more 
then must ho waver, when he is assaul te d, 
and beat upon by outward oppositions ) he 
is like the waves of the sea, of Mmself ever 
fluctuating to snd fro, according to the na- 
tural instability of that element ; and at the 
snme time exposed to the tossings of all the 
waves that arise. 

It is therefore in religion a main thing to 
have the heart established and fixed in the 
bdief and hope of the great thipgs we look 
tat ; this will beget strength of resolution, 
and oonstaiicy in action, and in suffering too. 
And this is here our apostle's great intent to 
ballast the souls of his brethren with this firm 
belief thai they might sail even and steady 
in those seas of trouble* Wherefore, says 
he, if these things we have spoken be thus, 
if there is indeed truth in them, and you be- 
lieve it so^ what remains then, but to resolve 
lor it upon any terms, to fit for the journey 
whatsoever be the difficulties, and in them 
sD to keep up the soul by that certain hope 
diat will not disappdnt us ? 

What he hath said before, is as it were 
showing them some fruit, some clusters of 
grspcs of that promised land ; and this ex- 
hortation is answetable to Gsleb's word there, 
Num. xiii. 30, Seeing it is so good a landy 
kt ue goup and possess it. Though there 
be fleshly objects, sons qf Anaky giants of 
temptations and afflictions, and sins to be 
overcome, ere it be ours ; yet it is well worth 
aU our lalMiur, and our Ood has ascertained 
us of the vicUnry, and given us, by his own 
word, undoubted hope of possessing it. 

That which he principally exhorts unto in 
this vcne, is the right placing and firm con- 
tinning of our hope. When we consider how 
mudi of Airlifo is taken up this way, in hop- 
ing for things we have not, And that even 
they who have most of what others are desir- 
ihg and pursuing* yet are still hoping for 
lomewhat further ; and when men liave at- 
tsined one thing, though it be something 
they promised themselves to rest contented 



withal; yet, presently upod obttfining it, 
hope begins to find oat some new matter for 
itself 9—1 say, considering the incessant work- 
ing of this passion throughout our Ufe, it is 
of very mudh concernment for ns to give it a 
right object, snd not still to be living iii 
vanity and uncertainty. Here is then that 
for our hope to apply itself to, after which it 
needs not change, nor can change without 
the greatest loss. Hope for the grace that 
is coming at the revelation of Jesus Christ t 
bestow all your hope on this, ftud recall it not. 
ffoM petfectlg, and to the end. 

The otlier part of the exhortation relates 
to this as the main end, and in the original 
runs in this form, Wherefore, Sirding up 
the loins of your fnindy being sooer, hope : 
And to the end hope may be the more per* 
i^t, and endure to die end, and more like it- 
self, i, e. heavenly, your minds must befl^ed 
from the eartli, that they may set for heaven ; 
snd this is expressed in two several words, 
but both meaning much the same thing: 
That temper of sobriety, and posture of being 
girt, are no other but the same removal <^ 
eanhly-mindedness, and encumbering cares 
and desires of earthly things. 

Gird up the loins,'\ The custom of these 
countries wss, that wearing long garments, 
they trussed them up for work or journey. 
Chastity is indeed a Christian grace, and a 
great part of the soul's freedom and spiritual* 
ness, and fits tt much for divine things : yet 
I think it is not so particularly and entirely 
intended in this expression, as St. Jerom and 
othen take it ; for though the girding of the 
loins seemed to them to fovour that sense, it 
is only in allusion to the manner of gitding 
up that was then used : And besides, the 
apostle here makes it dear he meant some- 
what eke $ for he says the loins of yow 
minds. Gather up your affections, that they 
hang not down to hinder you in your race, 
and so in your hopes of obtaining ; and do 
not only gather them up, but tie them up, 
that they fall not down again ; or if they do, 
be BUR to gird them stndteir than before. 
Thus be still as men for your journey, tend** 
ing io another place. This is not our home, 
nor the place of our rest ; therefore our loins 
must be still girt up, our affections kept from 
training and dragging down_upon the earthy 

Men that are altogether ewrflily uid^fou 
fone kre so far from gliding up the loins of 
their mind, that they set them wholly dowti- 
wards. The very highest part of their soul , 
is glued to the earth, and tliey are daUy par- 
takers of the serpent's curse, they go on their 
belly and eat the dost, they mind earthly 
things, Pha. iii. 19. Now this disposition 
is inconsistent with grace ; but they that are 
in some measure truly godly, though they 
grovel not so, jret may be somewhat guilty of 
suffering their aflbctions to foil too low, that 
is, too much conversant with \iihity, and 



44 



A COMAIENTARY UPON 






further engaged than is meet, to some things 
that are wcnldlyy and by this means abate of 
their heavenly hopes, and make them less per- 
fect, less dear and sensible to their souls. 

And because they axe most subject to take 
this liberty in the &ir and calm weather of 
prosperity, Ood doth often, and wisely and 
mercifully, cause rough blasts of affliction to 
arise upon them, to make them gather their 
loose garments nearer to them, and gird them 
closer. 

(Let us men remember our way, and where 
we are, and keep our garments girt up, for 
we walk amidst thorns and briers, that if we 
let them down, will entangle and stop us, and 
possibly tear our garments. We walk through 
a world where there is much mire of sinful 
pollutions, and therefore cannot but defile 
them ; and the crowd we are among will be 
ready to tread on them, yea our own feet may 
be entangled in them, and so make us stum- 
ble, and possibly falL Our only safest way 
is to gird up our affections wholly. 

This perfect hope is enforced by the whole 
strain of it : For well may we fix our hope 
on that hairiness to which we are appointed 
in the eternal election of God, ver. 2, and 
bom to it by our new birth, ver. 3, 4, and 
preserved to it by his almighty power, ver. 5, 
and cannot be cut short of it by all the afflic- 
tio&s and oppositions in the way, no, nor so 
much as deprived by them of our present joy 
and comfort in the assurance of it, ver. 6, 7, 
8, 9. And then being taught the greatness 
and excellency of that blessed salvation, by 
the doctrine of tlie prophets and apostles,'*and 
the admiration of angds, all these conspire to 
confirm our hope, to make it perfect and per- 
severing to the end. 

And we may also learn by the foregoing 
doctrine, that this is the place of our tri^ and 
conflict, but the place of our rest is above : 
We must here have our hins girt ; but when 
we come there, we may wear our long white 
robes at their full length without disturbance, 
for there is nothing there but peace ; and 
without danger of defilement, for no unclean 
thing M therey yea, the streets to that new 
Jerusalem are paved with pure gold. To 
Him, then, that hath prepared that city for 
us, let us ever give piaise. 



Ykr. 1^ As obedient dilldren, not fluhloDlng your- 
■dvet aooocdliig to the fonner luits. In yotar Ig- 
norance: 

VsB. 15. But ■• he whidi hath csUed you la holy, 
to be jre holy in all maoner of ouayeisation ; 

Vaa. 1& Becaiue it is wrlttCDj Be ye holy, for I am 
holy. 



" Thy word is a lamp unto my feet," says 
David, " and a light unto my path,** PsaL 
cxix. 105, not only comfortable, as light is 
to the eyes, but withal directive, as a lamp 
to his fecL Thus here the apostle doth not 
only fumiah consolation agjdnst distress, but 
exhorts and directs his brethren in the way 



[CHAP, z; 

of holiness, without which,t he spptehensloii 
and feeling of those comforts cannot subsist* 

This is no other but a clearer and fuller 
expression* ond further pressing of that so* 
briety and spiritualness cf mind and life, that 
he jointly exhorted unto, with that of peifeet 
hope, ver. 13. as inseparably connected with 
it. If you would enjoy this hope, be not 
conformed to the lusts of youz former igno* 
ranee, but be holy. 

There is no doctrine in the world either 
so pleasant or so pure as that of Christianity : 
It is matchless both in sweetness and holinesa.' 
The faith and hope of a Christian have in 
them on abiding precious balm of comfort ; 
but this is never to be so lavished away, aa 
to be poured into the puddle of an impure 
conscience : No, th|U were to lose it un- 
worthily : At many at have thie hope puri» 
fy themseheti even at he it pure, 1 John 
ii. 3. Here they are commanded to be hoiy 
at he it holy. Faith first purifies the heart. 
Acts XV. 9, empties it of the love of sin, and 
then fills it with the consolation of Christ, 
and the hope of gloiy. 

It is a foolish misgrounded fear, and such 
as argues inexperience of the nature and 
workings of divine grace, to imagine that the 
assured hope of salvation will b^^t unholi- 
nesd and presumptuous boldness in sin, and 
therefore that the doctrine of that assurance 
is a doctrine of licentiousness : Our apostle, 
we see, is not so sharp-sighted as these men 
think themselves; he apprehends no such 
matter, but indeed supposes the contrary aa 
unquestionable : He takes not assured hope 
and holiness as enemies, but joins them aa 
nearest friends, hope perfectly^ and be holy. 

They are mutually strengthened and in- 
creased each by the other. The more as- 
surance of salvarion, the more holiness, the 
more delight in it, .and study of it, as the 
only way to that end. And as labour is then 
most pleasant, when we are made surest it 
shall not be lost, nothing doth make the soul 
so nimble and active in obedience as this oii 
of ffladnett, this assured hope of glory. 
Again, the more holiness is in the soul, the 
clearer always is tliis assurance, as we see 
the face of the heavens best when there are 
fewest clouds. The greatest affliction doth 
not damp this hope so much as the smallest 
sin, yea, it may be the more lively and sen- 
sible to the sold by affliction ; but by sin it 
always suffers loss, as the experience of all 
Christians does certainly teach them. 

The apoatle exhorts to obedience, and en- 
forceth it by a most persuasive reason. Ilis 
exhortation is, I. Negative, Not fathUming 
yourtelvet, 2. Positive, Be ye holy. 

I. For the negative part of the exhorta- 
tion. That which he would remove and 
separate them from is luttt : This is in 
scripture the usiud name of all the irregular 
and sinful desires of the heart, botli the poU 



VSL 14^16.] 



TH]^ FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



4ft 



lated habits of them, and their corrupt 
■deams, both as thej are within, and out- 
wardly vent themselTes in the lives of men. 
The apoeile St. John, 1 John ii; 17, calls it 
the itui of the warldf and^ver. 15, love of the 
worid f and then, ver. 16. branches it into 
those three that are indeed the base Anti- 
trinity that the world worships, the lust of 
the eyety the lust ofthejleshy and the pride 
tflife. 

The soul of man unoonveited is no other 
but a den of impure lusts, wherein dwells 
pnde, undeannesa, avaxioe, malice, &c. just 
as Babylon is described. Rev. xviii. 2, or as 
Isa. xiiL 21. Were a man*s eyes opened, 
he would as much abhor to remain with him- 
self in that oonditian, ^' as to dwell in a house 
lull of anakes and serpents," as St. Austin 
says. And die first part of conversion is 
once to rid the soul of these noisome inhabi- 
tants, fiar there is none at all found naturally 
vacant and free from them. This the 
apostle here expresses of the believers he 
wrote to, that these lusts were theirs before in 
dteir ignorance. 

There i» a truth in it, that all sin arises 
from some kind of ignorance, or, at least, 
finro present inadvertence and inconsidera- 
tion, turning away the mind from the light ; 
iriiich dier^ire, for the time, is as if it were 
not, and is all one with ignorance in the 
tSisct ; and therefore the works of sin are all 
caDed works of darkneu* For were the 
true visage of sin seen at a full light, un- 
dressed and unpcunted, it were impossible, 
while it so appeared, that any one soul could 
be in love with it, but would rather fly it, as 
hideous and abominable. But because the 
soul unrenewed is all darkness, therefore it 
is all lust, and love of sin ; no order in it, be- 
cause no light. As at the flxst in the world 
eonfusion and darkness went together, and 
darkness was upon the face of the deep, 
Oen. i. 2, it is so in the soul, the more igno- 
rance, the more abundance ckP lusts. 

That light that frees the soul, and rescues 
.it from the very kingdom of darkness, must be 
somewhat beyond that which nature can attain 
to. All the light of philosophy, natural and 
moral, is not sufficient, yea, the very know- 
ledge of the law, severed from Christ, serves 
not so to enlighten and renew the soul as to 
free it from the darkness or ignorance here 
spc^en of ; for our apostle writes to Jews 
that knew the law, and were instructed in it 
before their conversion, yet he calls those 
times wherein Christ was unknown to them, 
the times of their ignoranoe* Though the 
stars shine never so bright, and the moon 
with them in its full, yet they do not, alto- 
gether, make it day, still it is night till the 
sun appear. Therefore the Hebrew doctors, 
upcn that word of Solomon's, Vavitg of 
wmitieSf all is vanitp, say, Vana etiam lex^ 
donee venerit Messias* Therefore of him 



Zaduuias says, That the dag spring fkiHis 
on high hath visited us, to give light to them 
that sit in darkness, and in the shadow qf 
deeUh, and to guide our feet into the wag of 
peace, Luke i. ^8, 19. 

A natural man may attain to very much 
acquired knowledge of the doctrine of Christ, 
and may discourse excellently of it, and yet 
still his soul be in the chains of darkness, 
fast locked up imder the ignorance here men- 
tioned, and so still of a earned nund, in sub- 
jection to these lusts of ignorance. 

The saving light of faith is a beam of the 
Sun of Righteousness himself that he sends 
into the soul, by which he makes it discern 
his incomparable beauties, and by that sight 
alienates it from all those lusts and desires 
that do then i^pear to be what indeed they 
are, vileness and filthiness itself, makes the 
soul wonder at itself, how it could love such 
base trash so long, and so fully resolves it 
now on the choice of Jesus Christ, the chief 
among ten thousands, Cant. v. 10, yea, the 
fairest of the children of men, Psal. xlv. 2, 
for that he is withal the only begotten Son 
of Ood, the brightness of his Father^s glorg, 
and the express image of his person, 
Heb. i. 3. 

The soul once acquainted with him, can 
with disdain turn oflf all the base solicita- 
tions snd importunities of sin, and command 
them away that formerly had command over 
it, though they plead former fomiliarities^ 
and the interest they once had in the heart 
of a> Christian, before it was enlightened and 
renewed. He can well tell them after his 
sight of Christ, that it is true : WhUe he knew 
no better than they were, he thought them 
lovely and pleasing, but that one glance of 
the face of Jesus Christ hath turned them 
all into extreme blackness and deformity; 
that so soon as ever Christ appeared to him, 
they straightway lost all their credit and 
esteem in his heart, and have lost it for 
ever, they need never look to recover it any 
more. 

And it is from this that the apostle en- 
forceth this dehortation. It is true the lusts 
and vanities that are in request in the world, 
were so with you, but it was when you were 
blind, they were the lusts of your ignorance ; 
but now you know how ill they will suit 
with the lig^t of that gospel which you pro- 
fess, and that inward light of faith, which 
is in the souls of such as be really believen. 

Therefore, seeing you have renounoed 
them, keep them sdU at that distance, never 
admit them more to lodge within you ; that 
sure you cannot do : but do not so much as 
for custom's sake, and compliance with the 
world about you, outwardly conform your- 
selves to any of them, or make semblance 
to partake of them, as St. Paul says. Have 
no more fellowship with the unfruitful 
works qf darkness, but rather reprove 



46 



A COMMBNTAaV UPON 



[ghaf. I. 



Siph. ?. U ; rqvove diem by yowt 
e«RiAg«> aDd let the light of your holy Utm 
diaeover their fulnew. 

II. We have the poeitiTe part of the 
apostle's ezhortatioii, Be ye hoiy. This 
indudes die former, the renouncing of the 
lust and pollutions of the world, both in 
heart and life ; and adds farther, filling of dieobedieneey ver. 2, are likewise sent qf 



and peisuAded by the tendcNSt wadm at 
Ood. Now diougfa this Hebrew manner of 
speech, tont qf obediend^ or diaobedi^mee, 
signify no more but obedient er disobadienr 
persons, yet it doth signify them moat em. 
phaticaUy, and means a liigh degree of 
obedience or disobedience; these aone qf 



their room, being cast out with the beaudfy- 
ing graces of the Spirit of God, and the 
acting of those in their whole conversatioo 
in private and abroad, in conversing widi 



wrath f ver. 3. 

Of all children, the children of God 
most obliged to obedience, fiir he is both the 
wisest and the moat loving of fiithen. And 



heavenly Father it perfeoi, saya our 
viour, Matt. v. 48. And here the iqpoaile 
citing out of the law. Be ye hdy, for I «■• 
holyy Lev. zi. 44 ; law and gospel agree in 
this. And as diildren that resemble dien 
fiithen, as they grow up in years tfaey grow 
the liker to them ; thus the children of God 



themsdves, and convening with odiers whe- the sum of all his commands is that whidi 
thcr good or bad, in a constant even course, is their glory and happiness, that they en» 
atill like themselves, and like him who hath deavour to be like him, to resemble their 
celled diem : For it is a most unseemly and heavenly Father : Be ye perfect^ at ytmr 
unpleasant thing to see a man's life full of 
iq» and downs, one step like a Christian, 
and another like a worldling ; it cannot choose 
but both pain himself, and mar the edifice* 
don of others. 

But at he which hath called you is holy»] 
Consider whose you are, and you cannot ..u« u«« w u>au ^ »<i» »« «.»«..»» w >.«^ 
deny that it becomes you to be holy. Con- ' do increase in their resemblance, and are 
aid«nr your near reladons to the holy God ; daily more and more renewed after hie 
this is expressed two ways, namely, as inoage. There is in diem an innate likeneaa 
children, and as he which hath called you ; 
which is all one as if he had said, hath be- 
gotten you again. The very outward voca- 
tion of diose that profess Christ, presseth 
Iwlinnw upon diem, but the inward far more. 
You were running to destruction in the way 
xif sin, and there was a voice together with 
the gospel preached to your ear, that spake 
into your heart, and called you back fiiom 
that path of death to the way of holiness, 
which is the only way of life. He hath 
severed you from the mass of the profime 
wodd, and pidced you out to be jewels fior 
himself; he hath set you apart for this end, 
that yon maybe holy to him, as the Hebrew 
word diat signifies holinessy imparts setting 
aparty or fitting lor a peculiar use ; be not 
then untrue to his dengn. He hath not 
called you to unoleauness, but unto Ao/t- 
ness, 1 Thess. iv. 7- Therefore be ye holy. 
It is sacrilege for you to dispose of your- 
selves af^ the impure manner of the world, 
and to apply yourselves to any profime use, 
whom God hath consecrated to himself. 

As children,] This is no doubt reladve 
to that which he spoke, ver, 3, by way of 
thanksgiving ; and that Wherefore of the 
13th verse draws it down hither by way of 
exhortation. Seeing you are by a spiritual 
and new- birth the diildren of so great and 
good a Father, who commands you holi- 
neas; be obedient children in being holy; 
and seeing he himself is most holy, be like 
him as his children, Be ye holy as he is holy. 

As obedient children, ] Opposite to that, 
£ph, U. 2, sons of disobedience or unbelief, 
as the word may be rendered, and that is 
always the spring of disobedience. Sons of 
■lispciauasibleness, that will not be drawn 



by his image impressed on them in their 
first renovation, and his Spirit dweDIng 
within them ; and dieie ia a continuing in. 
crease of it, by their pious imitatiun and 
study of oonfbnnity, which is here exhort- 
ed to. 

The imitation of vicious men, and the 
corrupt world, is here forbid ; the imitatioa 
of men*s indifferent customs is base and, 
servile ; the imitation of the virtues of good 
men is commendable : But die imits^on 
of this highest Pattern, diis primitive Good* 
ness, the most holy Goid, is die top of excel. 
len<7. And it is well said, 5^imiia rtH^ 
ffionis est inUtari quern eolis. All of na 
dSa him some kind of worship, but fbw 
seriously study and endeavour diis blessed 
conformity. 

There is, no question, among diose dial 
profess themsdves the people of God, a se* 
lect number, that are indeed his children, 
and bear his image both in their hearts and 
in their lives ; this impression of holiness ia 
on themselves and their conversation : But 
with the most, a name and a form of godlin 
is all they have fbr religion. Alas ! 
speak of holiness, and we hear oflt, and it 
may be we commend it, but we act it not ; 
or if we do, it is but acting of it, in that sense 
the word is taken for a personated acting, aa 
on a stage in the sight of men, not as in the 
sight of our lovely God, lodging it in our 
hearts, and fiom dience diflHising it into all 
our actions. A child is then truly like his 
fiuher, when not only his visage resemblet 
him, but move his mind and inward dispod. 
tion : Thus are the true children of Ood 
like their heavenly Father in their words and 
in their notions, but most of all in heart 



▼El. 17.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



47 



#fii 



; 



It is no matter tboo^^ the ptoEuae world, 
Aat 8P hftte God that it cannot endue his 
Image, do mock and resile : It is thy ho- 
jMmr, aa David said, 2 8am. vL 22, to be 
thus move vile, in growing still more like un- 
to him in holineis ; and though the dvil 
man count thy fashion a little odd, and too 
isedse, it is because he knows nothing shore 
that model of goodness he ha^ set himself, 
sod therefoze appiDTes of nothing beyond it : 
• knows not God, and therafo« doth not 
discern and esteem what is likest him. When 
couitieiB come down into the country, the 
eoDUDOB hone-hied people possibly think 
their habit stmnge ; but they csie not for 
; that, it is the fiuhion at court. MHbat need 
I then the godly be so tender foieheaded, ss to 
be oat of eountenance because the world looks 
on holiness as a singularity $ it is only the 
fioihian in the highest ooukt, yea, of the King 
of kings Jitma^f *^— >^-- 

for I am Ao4^.] As it will raise our en. 
dearonr high, to look on the Jiighest Pattern, 
an it win ky our thooji^ l^ ooncemfaig 
oonelTeA Men compare themselTes with 
men, and readily with the wont, and flatter 
themselfes with that cosopaative betteness : 
This Is not the way to see spots, to look into 
the muddy streams of profime men's lives : 
Imt look into the dear ibuntain of the word, 
and diene we may both discern snd wsah 
them ; and consider the in&iite holiness of 
God, and this will humble us to the dust 
When Isaiah saw the gloiy of the Lord, and 
heard the Seraphims ay, Hoiyy Ao/y, kofy, 
he cried out of his own and the people's un- 
hcdiness. Woe •« m«, for I am undone^ for 
I cm a man of unoiean Hps, and I dwoU 
in the midst of a people qf unclean Upt ; 
/or mine eyet ftane teen the King, the Lord 
efhoeie^ chap. vi. 3, 4. 

Yaa. 17. And If ye call on the Father, who, with- 
oot ivpeet of penont, judgeth according to every 
man'a vokf paif the time of your aoiJauiiiiiig heze 
inftar. 

Ths temptations that meet a Christian in 
the world to turn him aside i^om the straight 
way of obedience and holiness, are d&er 
aoch as pAseot the hope of some apparent 
good, to draw him from that way ; or the 
lear of some evO, to drive snd ai&ight him 
Iran it : And therefore the word of God is 
much in strengthening the Christian mind 
against these two, and it doth it espedally, 
by possessing it both with hopes and ftars ^ 
a higher nature, that do by £11 wdgh down 
the other, 

Tlie most firequent assaults of temptatUms 
are upon these two passions of the mind, 
therefore they are chiefly to be fortified and 
defended, by a hope and fear oppodte to 
those that do assault us, and su^dently 
stroQg to resist and repd them. 

These two therefore our ^xHrtle here uiges: 
I* Tha hope of that f^osy that the goopd 



propounds, and so outbids all the pnBsm of 
the world, both in the greatness and the cecw 
tainiy of its pramises. 2. The/4»ir of God, 
the greatest and justest Judge, only worAy 
to be foared and reverenced; the higfasit 
anger and enmity of all the world being less 
than nothing in comparison of his snuiUest 
displeasure. We have here, 

1. This foar ; 2. The resson enforcing it \ 
.3. The tenn or continuance of it. 

1. The foar itsdf, infear. But how suits 
this with the high discourse that went ho*. 
foie, of perfoct assured hope, of foiUi, and 
love and joy, yea, joy unspeakable and glo<» 
nous,' arisinif out of these ? How ate aJl 
those excdlnicifls fallen as it were into a 
dungeon, when fear is mentioned after them P 
Doth not the apostle St* John say, thai true 
looe eaeteth out fear y 1 John iv. 18 ? And 
is it not more dMuiy oppodte to pexfoctor 
assured hope, and to foith and joy ? 

If ye understand it aright, this is such a 
foar as doth not prejudice, but preserve tliose 
other graces, and the comfort and joy that 
arises fiom them: J^si^^. they all agiee so 
well with it, that they are naturally hdps to 
eachodMC 

It were supeifluous to uisiat on the define 
ing this passion of foar, and the manifold dis- 
tinctions of it, either with philosophers or 
divines. The fosr here recommended is^ 
out of question, a holy sdf-sui^don and fosr 
of offending God, which may not only con» 
sist widi assured h(^ of salvation, and with 
foith, and love, and spiritud joy, but is Uieir 
insepanble conqianian, as all divine gaoes 
are linked together, (as the Heathens sdd of 
their three Graces,) and as they dwell to»- 
gather, they grow or decrease toother. The 
more a Christisn believes, and loves, and re- 
joices in the love of God, tha more unwilling 
surdy he is to displease him, and if in dan- 
ger, die more afodd of it ; and on the other 
dde^ this foar being the true prindpk of a 
wary and holy conversation, flying do and 
the occadons of sin, and temptations to it^ 
and resisting them when they make an as- 
sauh, is as a watch or guard that keeps out 
the enemies and disturbers of the soul, and 
so preserves its inward peace, keeps the as<- 
suranoe of foith and hope unmolested, and 
that joy which they cause, and the inter, 
course and sodeties of love betwixt the sodl 
and her Bdoved unintemipted ; all which 
are then most in danger when this foar abates 
and falls to dumbering, for then some noi^ 
table sin or other is ready to break in and put 
an into disorder, and for a time makes those 
graces and the comfort of them, to present 
foding, as much to sedt as if they were not 
there at all. 

No wonder, then, if the apostle, having 
stirred up his Christian brethren, whatsoever 
be thdr estate in the world, to seek to be 
rich in those jewels of foith, and hopc^ and 



48 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[CHAF. T. 



lore, and iplritutl joy, and then considering 
that they travel amongst a world of thieves 
and robbers ; no wonder, I say, that he adds 
this, advises them to give those their jewels 
In custody, under Ood, to this trusty and 
watchful grace of godly fear ; and having 
earnestly exhorted them to hblineas, he is very 
fitly particular in this fear, which makes up 
BO great pait of that holiness, that it is often 
in scripture named for it all. 

Solomon calls it the beginning or the top 
of m$dom, Prov. xv. 33 ; the word signifies 
both, and it is both. The beginning of it is 
the beglniiing of wisdom, and the progress 
and inciease of it, is the increase of wisdom. 
That hardy rashness that many account va- 
lour is the companion of ignoiaace ; and of 
all rashness, boldness to sin is the most 
witkss and foolish. There is in this, as in 
all fear, an apprehension of an evil, whereof 
we are in danger. The evil is sin, and the 
disj^kasure of Ood, and punishment foUow. 
ing upon sin. The godly man judgeth wise- 
ly, as the truth is, that sin is the greatest of 
evils, and the cause of all oAer evils ; it Is a 
transgression of the just law of God, and so 
a provocation of his just anger, and the cause 
of those punishments, tempmal, spiritual, and 
eternal, which he inflicts. And then consi- 
dering how mighty he is to punish, both the 
power and reach of his hand, that it is both most 
heavy and unavoidable ; sU these things may 
and should concur to the working of this iear. 

There is, no doubt, a great difference be- 
twixt those two kinds of ftar that are usually 
difl^reneed by the name otM9rtnle and JUial 
ftar; but certainly the moat genuine fear of 
the sons of Ood, that call him Father, doth 
not exclude the consideration of his justice, 
and of the punishment of sin that his justice 
inflicts : We see here it is used as the great 
motive cf this fear, that he judgeth every 
man according to his workt» And David, 
in that Psalm wherein he so much breathes 
ibrth those other sweet aff^tions of love and 
hope, and delight in Ood and in his word, 
yet expresseth this fear even of the justice of 
God, Mgjleth trembleth for fear of thee, 
«iMf / am afraid of thy judgmeniSf Psal. 
cxix. 120. The flesh is to be awed with 
divine judgments, though the higher and 
auier pert of the soul is strongly and freely 
tied with the cords of love. Temporal cor- 
rections indeed they fear not so much in 
themselves, as that impression of wrath that 
may be upon them for their sins, Psal. vi. 1, 
Ac. That is the main matter of their fear, 
because their happiness is in his love, and 
the light of his countenance, that is their 
life : They regard not how the world looks 
upon them, they care not who frown, so he 
■mile on ihem ; and because no other enemy, 
nor evil in the world, can deprive them of 
this but their own sin, therefore it is tliat 
they fy» most 



As the evil is great, so the Christian hath 
great reason to fear in regard of his danger 
of ity considering the multitude, strengUi and 
craft of his enemies, and his own weaknen 
and unskilfulness to resist them. And his sad 
experience in being often foiled, teacheth him 
that it is dins t* he cannot be 4;noiant of it ; 
he finds how oiften his own resolutions and 
purposes deceive him. Certainly a godly man 
is sometimes driven to wonder at his own 
frailty and inconstancy. What strange dif. 
ferences will be betwixt him and htaiself ; 
how high and how delightful at some times 
are his thoughts of Gtod, and the glory of the 
life to come ; and yet how easily at another 
time base temptations will bemire him, or at 
the least molest and vex him ; and this keeps 
him in a continual ftar, and t}iatfear in con- 
tinual vlgilancy and circumspectnesa. When 
he looks up to €Kid, and conaiders the truth 
of his promises, and the sufBdency of Ma 
grace and protection, and the almighty strength 
c^ his Redeemer, tliese things fill his soul 
with confidence and aasuiance t But when 
he turns his eye downward again upon him- 
self, and finds so much remaining eomiptloQ 
within, and so many temptations, and dan- 
gers, and adversaries without, this forces him 
not only to fear, but to despair of himself; 
and it should do so, that his trust in Ood may 
be the purer and more entire ; That oonfidenee 
in Ood will not make him secure and pre- 
sumptuous in himself, nor that fear of him- 
self make him difffifdent of Ood. This fear 
is not opposite to faith, but high-mindedneas 
and presumption are, Rom. xi. 20. To a 
natural man it would seem an odd kind of 
reasoning that of the apostle, Phil. ii. 12, IS, 
It is God that worketh in gw$ to will and 
to do of his good pteasure. Therefore 
would he think, you may save labour, yon 
may sit still, and not work ; or if you work, 
you may work fearlessly, being so sure of his 
help ; but the apostle is of another mind ; 
his inference is, therefore, work out your 
own salvation^ and work it with fear and 
trembling. 

But why should he that hath aasuianoe of 
salvation fear? If there is truth in his 
assurance, nodiing can disappoint him : not 
sin itself, it is true ; but it is no less true, 
that if he do not fear to sin, there is no troth 
in his assunncc ; it is not the assuranee of 
faith, but the mispersuasion of a secnro and 
profane mind. 

2. Suppose it so, that the sins of a godly 
man cannot be such as to cut him short of 
that salvation whereof he is assured ; yet they 
may be such as for a time will deprive him 
of that assurance, and not only remove the 
comfort he hath in that, but let in honors 
and anguish of conscience in its stead. 
Though a believer is f^d ftom heO, and we 
may oveiatrain this assurance in our doctrinei^ 
beyond what the soberest and devouteat men 



rzB. 17-] 



TUB FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER, 



49 



in the world can eTer find in themaelTes, 
thoagh thej will not trouble themselTeB to 
contest and dispute witli them that say they 
hare it, so that bis soul aumot come there ; 



yet some sins may bring as it were a piece of and rewards : But the most solemn judg- 



hell into his soul for a time, and this is lea- 
SOD enough for any Chrisdan in his right 
wits to be afraid of sin. No man would wfll- 
in^y haaud himself upon a fidl that may 
fcKik his leg, or some other bone, though he 
eeold be made sure that he should not break 
hisnedc, orthat his life were not atldl in dan. 
gety and that he should be perfectly coxed ; 
yet the pain and trouble of such a hurt would 
terrify him, and make him waxy and feaiftil 
when he widka in danger. The broken bones 
diat Dayid complains of after his &11, may 
wvric fear and wariness in those that hear him, 
riMUgfa they were ascertained of a Uke le- 



This lesr is not cowardice, it doth not de- 
baae, bat elevates die mind ; fbr it drowns 
an lower fears, and begett true feititude, and 
cooxage to encounter idl dangers, ibr a good 
eMMciffice and die obeying of God. The 
riffhieous is boldat a Hon, (Prorerbs xxviii. 
1) ; he dares do any thing but offend Gtod, 
and to dare do diat is the greatest felly, and 
baaeoeaa, and weakness in the worid. Fkom 
this fear have sprung aU the generous re- 
aointions and patient sufferings tk the saints 
and martyrs of God, because they durst not 
■in againat him ; therefore (bey durst be im- 
piisoned, and impoverished, and tortured, 
and die for him. Thus the prophets set car. 
nal and godly fear as opposite, and (be one 
expding the other, Isa. viii. 12, 13. And 
onr Saviour, Luke xii. 4, Fear not them 
thai kill the body x Bui fear Aim, whieh 
mfter he hath kiUed, hath power to eatt into 
heli. Yea, I tay unto you, fear him. 
Fear not, but fear ; and therefore fear, that 
you may not fear. This fear is like the 
trembling that hath been observed in some 
of great oouxage before batdes. Moses was 
bold and fearless in dealing with a proud 
and wicked king ; but when God appeared, 
be said, aa the apostle informs us, / exceed- 
ingiyfeair and quake, Heb. Xii. 21. 

n. Tbe reason we have here to persuade 
this fear, is twofold : 1. Their rdation to 
God ; 2. Their relation to die worid. 

Firety To God as their Fadier, as their 
Judge. Because you do call him Father, 
and profeas yourselves his children begotten 
again by him, (for this looks back to that,) 
it becomes yon, as obedient children, to stand 
in awe, and fbur to offend him your Father, 
and a Father so full of goodness and tender 
love ; but aa he is the best Father, so con- 
■der that he is withal the greatest and just- 
est Judge, he judges every man aeoording 
to hit work. 

God always sees and discerns men, and 
an their work, and judgeth, that is, ac- 



counteth of them as they are, and sometimes 
in diis life dedares this his judgknent of 
them to their own consciences, and in some 
to the view of others, in visible punishments 



ment of all, is reserved to that great day 
hich he hath^ appointed, wherein he will 
judge the world in righteoueneet by his Son 
Jesus, Acts xvii. 82. 

There is here the sovereignty of this Judge, 
the universality of his judgment, and die 
equity of it. All must answer at his great 
Court, he is supreme Judge of the world ; 
he made it, and hath therefore unquestion« 
able right to judge it, he judgeth every 
man ; and it is a most righteous judgment, 
which hath these two in it: 1. An exact 
and perfect knowledge of all men's works ; 
2. Impartial judgment of them so known. 
This second is expressed negatively, by re- 
moving the crooked rule which man's judg^ 
ment often follows ; it is without considera- 
tion of thote personal d ifffer ence s that men eye 
so much : And the fint is according to the 
work itself. Job xxiv. 19, he aeoepteth not 
the person of princes, nor regardeth the 
rieh more than the poor ; and the reason is 
added then, for they are all the work of 
his hands. He made all the persons, and he 
makes all those differences himself, as it 
pleaseth him ; therefore he doth not admire 
them as we do, no, nor at all regard them : 
We find very great odds betwixt statdy 
•palaces and poor cottages, betwixt a prince's 
robes and a beggar's doak ; but to God 
diey are all one, all these petty difBnences 
vaidsh in ccnnparison of his own greatness. 
Men are great and small compared one witb 
anodier $ but they altogether amount to just 
nothing in respect of him. We find high 
mounta^s and low vallieft on this earth ; but 
compared with the vast compass of tbe hea- 
vens, it is all but as a point, and hath no 
sensible greatness at alL 

Nor regards he any odier differences to bias 
his judgment feom the works of men to their 
persons. You profess tbe true rdigion, and 
call him Fadier ; but if you lire devoid of 
his fear, and be disobedient children, he will 
not spare you because of that relation, but 
lather punish you die more severely, because 
you pretended to bo his children, and yet 
obeyed him not; therefore you shall find 
him your Judge, and an impartial Judge of 
your works. Remember therefore that your 
Father is this Judge, and fear to offend him. 
But then indeed a believer may look back to 
the other for comfort, that abuses it not to a 
sinful security. He resolves this willingly, 
I will not sin, because my Father is this 
just Judge ; but for my frailties I will hope 
fbr mercy, because the Judge is my Father. 

Their works : Comprehend all actions and 
words, yea, dioughts, and each work entirdyy 
taken outside and inside together : For he 

D 



50 



A COMMENTARY UPON / 



[CSAF. Z. 



fees all alike, and judgeth according to all 
together ; he looks on the wheels and paces 
within, as well as on the handle without, and 
therefore ought we to fear the least crooked- 
ness of our intentions in the hest works ; for 
if we entertain any such, and study not sin- 
gleness of heart, this wUl cast all, although 
we pray, and hear the word, and preach it, 
and live outwardly unblameably. And in 
that great judgment, all secret things shall 
be manifest ; as they ace always open to the 
eye of this Judge, so he shall ^en open them 
before, men and angeU : Therefore let the 
remembrance and frequent consideration of 
this all-seeing Judge, and of that great judg- 
ment, waken our hearts, and beget in us this 
fear, 2 Cor. ▼. 10, 11. If you would have 
c<Mifidence in that day, and not fear it when 
it comes, fear it now, so as to avoid sin ; for 
they that now tremble at it, shall then, when 
it comes, lifk up their faces with joy : And 
they that will not fear it now, shidl then be 
oyerwhelmed with fears and terror : they 
shall have such a burden of fear then, as that 
they shall account the hills and mountains 
lighter than it. 

The reason of this fear, so fiir as it refers 
to their rdation to the world, may be united 
with the next head : As, 

III. We have the term or continuance of 
the fetsr commanded : [Past the Hme <^ 
your tcjouminff here in fear,] In this I 
conceive is imjdied another persuasion of this 
fear. You are aejoumers and eirangeny as 
here the word signifies : and k waxy circum- 
spect carriage becomes strangers, because 
they are most exposed to wrongs and hard 
accidents. You are encompassed with ene- 
mies and snares ; how can you be secure in 
the midst of them ? ^This is not your rest ; 
watch, ibar beoames this your sojourning. 
Perfect peace and security is reserved for you 
at home, and that is the last tenn of dils 
fear ; it continues aU the time of this so- 
jouzning life, dies not before us, we and it 
shall expire together. 

Bleeied ie he thai fea/reth alwaye, says 
Solomon, Prov. xxviii. 14. In secKt and in 
society, hi his own house, and in Ood*s, we 
must hear the word with fiear, and preach it 
with fear, afraid to miscarry in our intentions 
and mannas. Serve the Lord with fsor, 
yea, in times of inward comfort and joy, yet 
T^jiiee with trembling, PsaL ii. 11. Not 
oily when a man feeb most his own weak- 
ness, but when be finds himself strongest. 
None are so high advanced in gitace here be- 
low, as to be out of need of this grace ; but 
when their sojourning sliall be done, and 
they are come home to their Father*s house 
above, then no more fearing. No entry for 
danger there, and therefore no fear. A holy 
reverence of the majesty of Ood diey shaU 
indeed have then most of all, as the angels 
■till have, because they shall see him most 



dearly^ and the more he is known, the men 
reverenced~t But this fear that relates to 
danger shall then vanish ; for in that world 
there is neither sin, nor sorrow for sin, not 
temptation to sin; no more conflicts: but 
after a full and final victory, an eternal peae^ 
an everlasting triumph. Not only fear, bat 
fiuth and hope, do imply some imperfectloa 
not consistent with that blessed estate : And 
therefore all of them having obtained their 
end, shall end, faith in eight, and hope in 
poeeeeeiony end fear in perfeot eafetg $ and 
everlasting love and delight shall fill the 
whole soul in the vision of God. 

Van. 18. Forasmuch as ye know that ye vnre not 
ledecmed with comipUble thtaf^ as sUfcr and 
gold, fixxn your vam convexsation zeoeived tgf 
tradition fVom your fathers ; 

VsB. 19. But «nth the precious blood of Chilst. 
as of a lamb without blemish and without qiot- 

It is impossible for a Christian to give 
himself to conform with the world^s un^)d- 
liness, unless first, he forget who he is, and 
by what means he attained to be what he is. 
Therefore the apostle, persuading his breth- 
ren to holiness, puts them in mind of this^ ae 
the strongest incentive ; not only have you 
the example of Qod set before you as your 
Father, to beget in you the love of holineas, 
being your liveliest resemblance of him ; and 
the Justice of Ood as your Judge, to argiie 
you into a pious fear of ofieaadlng him« 
But consider this, that he is your Redeemer, 
he hath bought out your liberty from sin and 
the wodd, to be altogether Us ; and think 
on the price laid down in this ransom ; and 
these out of question will prevail with you. 

We have here the evil dissuaded from, 
vix. 1. A wiin conversation. 2. The dis- 
suasion itself. 1. It is called their vain oon- 
vertation. 2. Received bg tradition from 
their fathere. By this I conceive is not 
only understood the superstitions and vain 
devioes in religion that abounded amongst 
the Jews by tr^tion, of which our Saviour 
often reproved them while he was conversant 
among them, as we find in the gospel ; and 
all this was meant, «. 14, by the luele of their 
former ignorance ; but generally all the cor- 
rupt and sinful customs p( Uieir lives : For 
it seems not so pertinent to his purpose when 
exhorting to holiness of life, to speak of their 
superstitious traditions, as their other sinfiil 
habitudes which are no less hereditary, and, 
by the power of example, traditional ; whidi 
by reason of their common root in maA*p 
sinful nature, do so easily pass from parents 
to children, nature '"wking dieir example 
powerful, and the corruption of nature giv^ig 
it most power in that which is evlL And this 
is the rather mentioned to take away the fSoroe 
of it, and cut off* that influence which it might 
have had in their minds. There is a Idnd 
of conversation that the authority of your fiu 
thers plead for ; but remember, diot it is diat 
very thing fiom which you are deUvered^ and 



T£ft. 18» 19.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



61 



called to a new atete and foim of IHe, and 
have a new pattem set before you, instead of 
that coDttpt example. 

It is one great eiior, not only in religion 
and manners, but even in human science, that 
men are readyto take things upoii trus^ un- 
examined, from those that went before diem, 
partly out of easiness, and sparing the pains 
of trial, partly out of a superstitious over es- 
teem of Uieir authority : But the chief rea- 
son why corruptiiMis in religion, and in the 
practice of pieceding ages, take so much with 
posterity, is that bdfore mentioned, the uni- 
versal sympathy and agreement diat those 
evils have with the corrupt nature of man. 

The Prophet Ezekiel observes this parti- 
cularly in tlie Jews, chap. xx. ver. 24, That 
their eff€9 were after their fathere* idols, 
contrary to God's express forewarning, ver. 
18. This was the great quarrel of the hea- 
then against the Christian ReL'gion in the 
pnmitive times, that it was new and un- 
known to their fathers; and the ancient 
writers of those times are frequent in shewing 
the vanity of this exception, particularly Lac- 
tantius, Instiu Lib. ii. cap. 7, 8. The same 
prejudice doth the church of Rome sing over 
a>ntinually against the Reformed Religion, 
Where was it before Luther ? &c. But this 
is a foolish and unreasonable diversion from 
the search of truth, because error is more at 
hand ; or from the entertaining it, being 
£>nnd, because falsehood is in possession. 

As in religion, so in the course and practice 
of men*s lives, the stream of sin runs frmn 
one age to another, and every age makes it 
greater/ adding somewhat to what it re- 
ceives, as rivers grow in their course, by the 
accession of brooks that fall into them ; and 
every man, when he is bom, falls like a drop 
into this main current of corruption, and so 
is carried down it, and this by reason of its 
strength, and his own nature, which will- 
ingly dissolves into it, and runs along with it. 
In this is manifest the power of divine graee 
in a man*s conversion, that it severs him so 
powerfully from the profane world, and gives 
him strength to run contrary to the great 
current of wickedness that is round about 
him, in his parents possibly, and in his 
kindred and friends, and in the most of men 
diat he meets withal. The voice of God, 
that powerful word of effectual callii^ that 
he speaks into the heajrt, makes a man break 
through all, and leave all to follow God, as 
Abraham did, being called out from his 
kindred and Other's house, to journey to- 
wards the land that God had promised him. 
And this is that which was spoken to the 
diurch, and to each believing soul by the 
Spirit of God, Forget a^to thine own people 
amd thy father* t houee, eo ehall the King 
greatiy deliglU in thy beauty ^ Psal. xlv. 10, 
11. Regard not what odiers think, though 
<bj neaiest friends, but study only to please 



Him, and then thou shalt please him in- 
deed. Do not deform t^y face with looking 
out asquint to the custom of the world, but 
look straight fbrwurd on Him, and so thou 
shalt be beautiful in his eyes. MHien God 
calls a man in a remarkable manner, his 
profime friends are all in a tumult : What 
needs thu, to be more precise than we, and 
all your neighbours ? but all this is a confus. 
ed noise, that works nothing on the heart 
that the hard, hath touched ; it must follow 
Him, though by trampling upon friends and 
kindred if diey lie in the way. We see how 
powerfully a word from Christ drew his 
disciples to leave all and fbllow him. 

This ejehortation is against all sinful and 
unholy conversation, by what authority and 
exam^e soever recommended to us. The 
i^postle*s reasons in those words are stitHig 
and pressing ; there iA one expressed in the 
very name hfe gives it, it is vain conversation* 

The mind of man, the guide and source 
of his actions, while it is estranged from 
Gh)d, is nothing but a forge of vanities ; the 
apostle Paul speaks this of the Gentiles, 
That they become vain in their imaginam 
tionSf and their foolish hearts were darken^ 
ed, Rom. i. 21, their great naturalists and 
philosophers not excepted ; and the more 
they strove to play the wise men, the more 
they befooled themselves ; thus likewise 
£ph. iv. 17. And thus the Lord complains 
by his prophet of the extreme folly of his 
people,- Isa. xliv. 20, and' by Jeremiah, that 
their hearts are lodges of vain thoughts, 
Jer. iv. 14 ; and these are the true causes of 
a vain &mversation. 

The whole course of a man's life out of 
Christ, is nothing but a continual trading in 
vanity ; running a circle of toil and labour, 
and reaping no profit at all. This is the 
vaniQr of every natural man's conversation, 
that not only others are not benefited by it,~ 
but it is fruitless to himself; there arises to 
him no solid good out of it. That is most 
truly vain that attains not its proper end: 
Now all a man's endeavours aiming at his 
satisfiustlon and contentment, that conversa- 
tion that gives him nothing of that, but re- 
moves him further firom it, is justly called vain 
conversation. What fruit had ye, says 
the apostle^ in those things whereof ye are 
now ashamedf Rom. vi. 21. Either count 
that ^ame, Aat at the best grows out of 
them, their fruit, or confess they have none ; 
therefore they are called the unfruitful 
works of darkness, Eph. v. 11. 

Let die voluptuous person say it out upon 
his death-bed, what pleasure ox profit doth 
then abide wit!) him of all his former sinful 
delights. Let him tell if there remain any 
of them all, but that which he would gladly 
not have to remain, the sting of an accusing 
conscience, which is as lasting as the delight 
of sin was short and vanishing. Let tfao 



02 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[chap. I* 



eovetons and ambitious declare freely, eveh 
those of them that have prospered most in 
their puisuit of riches and honour, what ease 
all their poBsessions or titles do then help 
them to ; whether their pains are the less, 
because ^eir chests are Ml, or their houses 
stately, or a multitude of friends and senrants 
waiting on them with hat and knee ; and if 
all these things cannot ease the body, how 
much less can they quiet the mind ? And 
therefore is it not true, that all pains in these 
things, and the uneven ways into which they 
sometimes step aside to serve those ends, 
and generally that all the ways of sin, 
wherein they have wearied themselves, were 
vain rollings, and tossings up and down, not 
tending to a certain haven of peace and 
happiness ? It is a lamentable thing to be 
deluded a whole lifetime with a false dieam, 
Isa. ii. 8. 

You tluit are going on in the coimnon 
road of sin, although many, and possibly 
your own parents, have trode it before you, 
and the greatest part of those you now know 
are in it with you, and keep you ownpany in 
it ; yet be persuaded to stop a little, and ask 
yourselves, What is it you seek or expect in 
the end oif it ? Would it not grieve any 
labouring man to work hard all the day, 
and have no wages to look for at night ? It 
is a greater loss to wear out our whole life, 
and in the evening of ouz days to find no- 
thing but anguidi and vexation. Let us 
then think this, that so much of our lifo as 
is spent in the ways of sin, is all lost, fruit- 
less, and vain oonvertaiioiu 

And in so far as the apostle says here, 
Vou are redeemed from this conversaHon, 
this imports it to be a servile slavish oondi- 
tion, as the other word expresses it to be 
fruitless. And this is the madness of a 
sinner, that he foncies liberty in that which 
is the basest thraldom, as those poor frantic 
persons that are lying ragged, and bound in 
chains, yet imagine that tibey are kings, that 
their irons are chains of gold, their rags 
robes, and their filthy lodge a palace.— -As 
it is misery to be liable to the sentence of 
death, so it is slavery to be subject to the do- 
minion of sin ; and he that is delivered from 
the one, is likewise set free from Uie other. 
There is one redemption for both. He that 
is redeemed from destruction by the blood of 
Christ, is likewise redeemed from that vain 
and unholy conversation that leads to it. So, 
Tit. ii. 14, our Redeemer was anointed for 
this purpose, not to free the captives from 
the sentence of death, and yet leave them 
stiB in prison, but to proclaim liberty to 
ihemy afid the opening of the prison to them 
that are bound, Isa. Ixi. 1. 

You easily persuade yourselves that Christ 
hath died for you, and redeemed you from 
hell ; but you consider not, that if it be so, 
he hath likewise redeemed you from your vain 



convenation, and hath set you ftee from die 
service of sin. Certainly while you find not 
that, youcanhaveno assurance of the other; if 
the chains of sin continue still upon you, for 
any thing you can know, these chains do 
bind you over to the other ehams of darkm 
nees the apostle speaks of, 2 Pet. ii. 4. Ijet 
us not delude ourselves ; if we find the love 
of sin, and of the world, work stromger in our 
hearts than the love of Christ, we are not aa 
yet partakers of his redemption. 

But if we have indeed laid hold upon him 
as our Redeoner, then we are redeemed from 
the service of sin, net only from the grossest 
profaneness, but even from all kinds of fruit- 
less and vain conversation ; and therefore 
ought to standfast in that Hbertffi and nai 
to entangle ourselves again to any of our 
former vanities, OaL v. 1. 

Not redeemed with corruptible tJUngs.'l 
From the hi^ price of our redemption, the 
apostle doth mainly enforce our esteem of 
it, and urge the preservation of diat liberty 
so dearly bought, and the avoiding all that 
qnholiness, and vain oonversation, from which 
we are freed by that redemption. I. He 
expvesseth it negatively, not toith oorrupH^ 
ble things, (Oh foolish we, that haunt them, 
as if they were inoorrupdble and evcrksting 
treasures,) no, not the b'iBst cf them, those 
that are in highest account with mon, noi 
with silver and gold, these are cot of 
any value at all towards the rmsom of souls ; 
they cannot buy off die deatli of the body, 
nor purchase the continuance of temporal 
life, much less can they reach to the worth 
of spiritual and eternal life. The precious 
soul could not be redeemed but by blood, 
and by no blood but tliat of this spotless 
Lamb Jesus Christ, who is Ood equal widi 
the Father : And therefore his blood is call- 
ed. The blood qf God, Acts xx. So that 
the apostle may here well call it preeioue, 
exceeding the whole world and all things in 
it in value. Therefore f^strate not the suf- 
ferings df Christ ; if he shed his blood to re- 
deem you from sin, be not-false to his aid. 

As qf a Lamb without blemish,] He Is 
that great and everlasting sacrifice that gave 
value and virtue to all the sacrifices under 
the law ; their blood was of no worth to the 
purging away of sin, but )}y relation to His 
blood ; and the laws concerning the choiGe 
of the paschal lamb, or other lambs for sacri- 
fice, were but obscure and imperfect ihadcws 
of his purity and perfections, who is the un* 
defiled Lamb of God that taketh attay the 
sins qf the world, John i. 29. A Lamb in 
meekness and silence, he opened not hie 
mouth, Isa. liii. 7 ; and in purity here, 
without spot or blemish. My wellJfelovedj 
says the Spouse, is white and ruddy, Cant. 
V. 10, white in spotless innocency, and red 
in suffering a bloody death. 

Foroimveh as ye know,] It is that must 



▼£R. 20.] 



THE TIRST EPISTLE OP PETER. 



69 



nake all this effectual, the right knowledge 
and due consideTation of it : Ye do know it 
abeady, but I would have you know it better, 
mate deeply and practicaliy ; turn it often over, 
be more in the study and meditation of it ; 
these is work enough in it still for the most 
discerning mind ; it is a mystery so deep, 
that you shall never reach the bottom of it, 
and withal so useful, that you iAmSX always 
find new profit by It : Our fbUy is, we gape 
after new things, and yet are in effect igno- 
rant of the things we think we know best. 
That learned apostle that knew so much, 
and spoke so many tongues, Yet I deter- 
munedy wyu he, to know noihinff among 
you, 9av€ Jemts Christ and him crHciJied, 
1 Cor. iL 2. And again he expresses this 
as the top of his ambition, that I may know 
kimy and the power of hie reewrreotiony 
emd the fellowahip of hie eufferinge, being 
wtade conformable unto hie death, PhiL iii. 
10. That coofimnity is this only know- 
ledge : He that hath his lusts unmortified, 
and a heart unweaned from the world, though 
he know all the history of the death and suf- 
ftiiugs of Jesus Christ, and can disoouxae 
well of them, yet indeed he knows them not 
If you would increase much in hdtness, 
and be strong against the temptations to sm, 
this is the o^y art of it ; view much, and ao 
seek to know much, of the death of Jesus 
Christ. Consider irfken at how high ante 
we axe redeemed from sin, and provide this 
answer for sU the enticements of sm and the 
wodd ; Except you can offer my aoul some- 
tiiing beyond that price diat was given for it 
oa the cross, I cannot hearken to you. *^ Far 
be it .from me, (will a Christian say diat 
considers this r^emption,) that ever I should 
preftr a base lust, or any thing in this world, 
or it all, to Him that gave himself to death 
lor me^ and paid my ransom with his blood : 
His matchless love hath freed me from the 
xniseEable captivity of sin, and hath for ever 
fiistened me to the sweet yoke of his obe- 
dience* Let him alone to dwdl and rule 
within me, and let him never gofinrth from 
my heart, who fiir my sake refused to come 
down from the cross.*' 

VxB. 90i Who Teiily was fore^irdalued before the 
Ibmidatlaii of the world t but was raanlfeBt in 
last times for you. 



Of all those oonsideratioDS, and there are 
many, that may move men to obedience, there 
is none that persuades either more sweetly or 
strongly than the sense of God's goodness 
and mercy towards men ; and amongst all 
the evidences of that, there is none lUce the 
sending and giving oif his Son for min's re- 
demption : Therefore the apostle having 
mentioned that, insists further in it ; and in 
these words expresses, 1. The purpose ; 2. 
The perfonnance ; and 3. The application 
of it. 

1. The fivajpou at decree foreknown f but 



it is well rendered fore~ordained, for this 
knowing is decreeing, and there is little 
either solid truth or profit in the distinguish- 
ing them. 

We say usually, that where there is little . 
wisdom there is much chance ; and compa- 
cativdy among men, some are £bi more fore- 
sighted and of further reach than others ; 
yet the wisest and most provident men, both 
wanting skill to design all things aright, 
and power to act, as theyxontrive, meet with 
many unexpected casualties, and frequent 
disappointments in their undertakings. But 
with God, where both wisdom and power are 
infinite, there can be neither any chance, nor 
resistance from without, nor any imperfection 
at all in the contrivance of things within* 
himself, tibat can give cause to add, or abate, 
or alter any thing in the frame of his pur- 
poses. The model of the whole world, and of 
all the oourse of rime, was with him one and 
the same from sU eternity, and whatsoever 
is brought to pass, is exactly answerable to 
that pattern, for with him there ie no change 
nor shadow of turning. Jam. i. 17. There 
is nothing dark to the Father of Lights ; he 
sees at one view througb all things, and all 
ages, from the beginning of time to the end 
of it, yea, firom eternity to eternity. And 
this incomprehensible wisdom is too wonder- 
ful for us ; we do but childishly stammer when 
we offer to speak of it. 

It 18 no wonder that men beat their own 
brains, and knock their heads one against 
another, in the contest of their opinions, to 
little purpose, in their several mouldings of 
God*8 decx^. Is not this to cut and sqnsre 
God's diougfats to ours, and to examine his 
sovereign purposes by the low principles of 
hmnan wisdom ? How much more learned 
than all such knowledge is the apostle's ig- 
norance, when he cries out, O t the depth 
of the riohee, both of the wisdom and know-' 
ledge of God t how unsearchable are his 
Jftdgmenis, and his wags past finding out, 
Rom. si. S3. Why then should sny msn 
debate what place, in the series of God's de- 
cree, is to be assigned to this purpose of send, 
ing his Son in the flesh ? Let us rather, 
sedng it is manifbst that it was for the re- 
demj^on of lost mankind, admire that same 
love of God to mankind, that appears in that 
purpose of our recovery by the Word made 
ftesh; that before man had made himself 
nusenble, V^> befbre either he or the world 
was made, this thought of boundless love 
was in the bosom of God, to send his Son 
forth ham thence, to bring fisdlen man out of 
misciy, and restore him to happiness ; and 
to do riiis, not only by taking on his nature, 
but the curse ; to shift it off from us that 
were smik under it, and to bear it himself, 
and by bearing it, to take it away ; he laid 
on. him the iniquity qfus all, and to this he 
was appointed, says the Apostle, Heb. Ui. 2. 



64 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



|CHAP. T. 



Before ^ foundaHon of the world,] 
This we undentand by Mtb, that the world 
was framed by the word of God^ Heb. xi. 
3. Although the learned probably think it 
evincible by human reason, yet some of those 
tibat have gloried most in that, and are' re- 
puted generally masters of reason, have not 
seen it by that UghL Therefore, that we 
may have a divine belief of it, we must learn 
it from the word of Ood, and be pursuaded 
of its truth by the Spirit of Ood, that the 
whole world, and aV diings in It, were drawn 
out of nothing by His almighty power, who 
is the only eternal and uncratited Being, and 
therefore the fountain and source of being to 
all things. 

F<mndati€nS\ In this word is plainly in- 
timated the resemblance of the world to a 
building, and such a building it i^ as doth 
evidence the greatness of Him that framed 
it, so spacious, rich, and comely ; so firm a 
foundation, ndsed to %o high end stately a 
roof, and set with variety of stars, as with 
jewels, therefore called, as some conceive it, 
(Psal. viii.) the work of hisjingers, to ex- 
press the curious artifice that appears in 
them. Though naturalists have attempted 
to give the reason of the earth*s stability 
from its heaviness, which stays it necessarily 
in the lowest part of the world, yet that 
abates not our admirijig the wisdom and 
power of Ood, in laying its foundation so, 
and establishing it ; for it is His will that 
is the first cause of that its nature, and hath 
i^ipointed that its property of heaviness, to 
fix it there ; and therefore Job alleges this 
amongst the wonderful works of Ood, and 
evidences of his power, that he hanged the 
earth upon nothing, Job xxvi. 7« 

Before theie was time, or place, or any 
creature, Ood, the blessed Trinity, was in 
himself, and as the Prophet speaks, Isa. Ivii. 
16, inhalfiting elcrnitg, completely happy 
in himself : But intending to manifest and 
communicate his goodness, he gave being to 
the world, and to time with it ; made all to 
set forth his goodness, and the most excel- 
lent of his creatures, to contemplate and en- 
joy it : But amongst all the works he intend- 
ed before time, and in time efiTected, this is 
the master-piece that is here said to be fore- 
gtrdained, the manifesting of Ood in the fiesh, 
for man*8 redemption ; and that by bis Son 
Jesus Christ, as the ^r9/.6orn among mang 
brethren, Rom. viii. 29 : That those ap- 
pointed for salvation should be rescued from 
the common misery, and be made one mysti- 
cal body, whereof Christ is the head, and so 
entitled to that everlasting glory and happi- 
ness that he hath purchased for them. 

This, I say, is the great work, wherein all 
those glorious attributes shine jointly, the 
Wisdom, and Power, and Ooodness, and 
Justice, and Mercy of Ood. As in great 
maps, or pictures, you will see the border de- 



corated with meadows, and fountains, and 
flowers, &c. represented in it ; but in the 
middle you have the main design : Thus is 
this fore-ordained redemption amongst the 
works of Ood ; all his other woiks in the 
worid, all the beauty of the creatures, and 
the succession of ages, and tilings that come 
to pass in them, are but as the border to this 
the « main piece. But as a fbolish unskilful 
beholder, not discerning the excellency of 
the prineipsl piece in such maps or pictures, 
gases only on the fair border, and goes no 
further : Thus do the greatest part of U9 : 
our eyes are tsken with the goodly show of 
the world and appearance of earthly things ; 
but as for this great woik of Ood, Christ 
fore-ordainedy and in rime sent for our re- 
demption, though It most deserves cm at- 
tentive regard, yet we do not View and con- 
sider it as we ought. 

2. We have the petformance of that pur- 
pose, Wat manifeated in the last Hmeef&r 
you. He was manifested, both by his in- 
carnation, according to that word of the apos- 
tle St. Paul, manifested in the JUehy 1 Tim. 
iii. 16, &C. and manifested by his marvd- 
lona works and doctrine, by his sufferings 
and death, resurrection and asoension, by the 
sending down of the Holy Ohost according 
to his promise, and by the preaching of the 
Oospd, in the fulness of time that Ood had 
appointed, wherein all the prophecies that 
foretold ills coming, and all the types and 
ceremonies that prdftgnred him, had their ac- 
complishment. 

The times of the gospel are often called 
the last times by the Prophets ; for that the 
Jewish priesthood and ceremonies being 
abolished, that which succeeded was 'appoint- 
ed by Ood to remain the same to the end of 
the world. Besides this, the time of our 
Saviour's incarnation may be called the last 
timesy because, although it were not near the 
end of time by many ages, yet in all proba- 
bility it was much nearer the end of time 
than the beginning of it. Some resemble 
the time of his siif^rings in the end of the 
world, to the paschaPlamb in the evening. 

It was doubtless the fit rime ; but not- 
withstanding the schoolmen olfoied apt rea- 
sons to prove the fitness of it, as their Lu- 
mour is to prove aU things, none dare I think 
conclude, but if Ood liad so appointed it, it 
might have been either sooner or later ; and 
our safost is to rest in that, tliat it was the fit 
time, because so it pleased Him, and to seek 
no other reason, why having promised the 
Messiah so quickly after man's fall, he de- 
ferred his coming about four thousand years, 
and a great part of that drae shut up the 
knowledge of himself, and the true rclig'on, 
within the narrow compass of that one natiod 
of which Christ was to be bom : Of these 
and such like things we can give no other 
reason but that which he teacheth us in a 



TER. SI.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



48 



like cue, Bven »o, Father^ because it ieem- 
eth good itnio thee, Mat. xi. 26. 

S. The application of this inanlfeetatioii, 
Per ffou.'l The apostle repiesents these 
things to those he writes to, porticulaily for 
their use; therefore he ai^lies it to them, 
but without prejudice of Aie beUevers that 
went before, or of those that irere to follow 
in after ages. He that is here said to be 
fore'appointed before the foundation of the 
wodd, is therefore called, a Lamb slain from 
lAe foundation of the toorld, Rer. xiii. 8. 
And as the virtue of his death looks back- 
waid to all pre<^ing ages, whose faith and 
aacrificefl looked forward to it, so the same 
death is of force and perpetual value to the 
end of the world : A^fier he had offered 
one ^lerificefor sins, sajrs the apostle to the 
Hebrews, chap. x. 12, 14, he tat down for 
ever on the right hand of God ; for by one 
offimng he hath perfected for ever them 
that are sanctified. The cross on which he 
was extended points in the length of it to 
heaven and earth, reconciling them together ; 
and in the breadth of it to fanner and fol- 
lowing ageSy as being equally salvation to 
both. 

In. this appropriating and peculiar interest 
in Jesus Christ lies our happiness, without 
which it avails not that he was ordained 
from eternity, and in time manifested. It 
is not the general contemplation, but the pe- 
culiar possession of Christ, that gives both 
acdiil comfort, and strong persuasion to obe- 
dience and holiness, which is here the apos- 
tle's particular scope. 

TsB. n.' Who hv him do believe in God that raised 
him up from tne dead, and gave him gknry, that 
jour aith aad liope nilght he in GkxL 

Now, because It is faith that gives the soul 
this particular tide to Jesus Christ, the apos- 
tle adds, (to declare who he meant by VouJ 
Who by htm do believe in God,^ ^o. 

Where we have, 1. The complete object 
cf foith. 2. The ground or wairant of it. — 
The object, God in Christ. The ground 
cr wamnt. In that he raised him up from 
the dead, and gave him glory. 

1. .The complete object of faith. A man 
may have, living out of Christ, yea, he 
mittt, he cannot choose but have, a convic- 
tion within him that there is a God, and fur- 
ther he may have, even out of Christ, some 
kind of bdlef of diose things that are spoken 
eonceming Ood ; but to repose on God, as 
his God, and his salvation, which is indeed 
to believe in him, this cannot be, but where 
Christ is the medium through which we look 
upon God ; for so long as wc look upon God 
through our own guiltiness, we can see no- 
thing but his wrath, and apprehend him as 
an aimed enemy ; and therefore are so far 
fiom resting on him, as our happiness, that 
the more we view it, it puts us upon the 



nioie speed to fly from him, and to cry out. 
Who can dwelt with everlasting burnings^ 
and abide with a eonsumifSgftre $ Isa. xxxiii. 
14. But our Saviour, takhig sin out of the 
way, puts himself betwixt our sins and God, 
and so makes a wonderful change of our ap- 
prehension of him. When you look through 
a red glass, the whole heavens seem bloody, 
but through pure uncoloured glass, you re- 
ceive the dear light, that is so refteeiiing and 
comfortable to behold. When sin unpar- 
doned is betwixt, and we look on God 
through that, we can perceive nothing but 
anger and wrath in his countenance : But 
m^e Christ the medium, our pure Redeemer, 
and through him, as through clear transpa- 
rent glass, the beams of God's fovourable 
countenance shine in upon the soul ; the 
Father cannot look upon his well-beloved 
Son, but graciously and pleasingly. God 
looks on us out of Christ, sees us rebels, and 
fit to be condenmed ; we look on God as 
being just and powerful to punish us ; but 
when Christ is betwixt, God looks on us In 
him as justified, and we look on God in 
him as pacified, and see the smiles of his 
fovourable countenance : Take Christ out, 
all is terrible ; interpose him, all is fiill of 
peace : Therefore set him always betwixt, 
and by him we shall believe in God. 

2. The warrant and ground of believing 
in Ck>d by Christ is this, that God raised 
him from the dead, and gave him glory, 
which evidence the full satisfaction of his 
death ; and in all that work, both in his hu- 
miliation and exaltation, standing in our 
room, we may repute it as ours : If all is 
paid that could be exacted of him, and there- 
fore he set free from death, then are we ac- 
quitted, and have nothing to pay ; if he was 
jaised from the dead, and exalted to glory, 
then so shall we ; he hath taken possession 
of that glory for us, and we may judge our- 
selves possessed of it already, because he our 
Head possesseth it. And diis the last words 
of the verse confirm to us, implying this to 
be the very purpose and end for which God, 
having given him to death, raised him up 
and gave him glory ; it is for this end ex- 
pressly, that our faith and hope might be in 
God : The last end Is, that we may have 
life and glory through him ; the nearer end, 
that in the mean while, till we attain them, 
we may have firm belief and hope of them, 
and rest on God as the giver of them, and so 
in part enjoy them before-hand, and be up- 
held in our joy and conflicts by the comfort 
of them. And, as St. Stephen in his vision. 
Acts vii. 55, fkith doth, in a spiritual way, 
look through all the visible heavens, and see 
Christ at the Father's right hand, and is 
comforted by that in the greatest troubles, 
though it were amidst a shower of stones, as 
St. Stephen was. The comfort is no less 
than this, that being by fkith mad« one with 



u 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[CBAP. f. 



Chritt, his preient glory wheiein he aits at 
the Father's right hand, is assurance to us, 
tha£ where he is we shaUbe aito, John juv. 3. 



VS1I.S8. 



Seeing ve have paslfled tout aou 
the trutn through the Spirit, uatc 
Ian of the brethren ; lee that ye 



aoub in 
xaito un- 
love 



one another ^rith a pure heart fervcnay. 

Jesus Chbist is made unto us of God, 
witdomy righteoutnetty 9anct\fieal\ony and 
redemption, I Cor. i. 30. It is a known 
truth, and yet very needful to be often re- 
presented to us, that redemption and holiness 
are undivided companions ; yea, that we are 
redeemed on purpose for this end, that we 
should be^oly. The pressing of this, we 
see, is here the qx)stle*s scope; and hav- 
ing by that reason enforced it in the general, 
he now takes that as concluded and confess- 
ed, and so makes use of it particularly to 
exhort to the exercise of that main Christian 
grace of brotherly love* 

The obedience and holiness mentioned in 
the foregoing verses, comprehend the whole 
duties and finime of a Christian life towards 
OqA and men; and having urged that in 
the general, he specifies this grace of mutual 
Christian love, as the great evidence of their 
sincerity, and the trutli of their love to God : 
For men are subject to much hypocrisy this 
way, and deceive themselve^; if they find 
themselves diligent in religious exercises, 
they scarce once ask their hearts, how they 
stand affected this way, namely, in love to 
their brethren. They can come constantly 
to the church, and pray ; it may be, at home 
too ; and yet cannot find in their hearts to 
forgive an injury. 

As forgiving injuries argues the truth of 
piety, so it is that which makes all converse 
both sweet and profitable, and besides, it 
graces and commends men and their holy pro- 
fession to such as are without, and strangers 
to it, yea, even to their enemies. 

Therefore it is, that our Saviour doth so 
much recommend this to his disciples, and 
they to others, as we see in all their epistles. 
He gives it them as the very badge and 
livery by which they should be known for his 
followers : By this shall all men know that 
ye are my disciples, if ye love one another^ 
John xiii. 36. And St. Paul is f^quent in 
exhorting to and extolling this grace, Ronu 
xii. 10, and xiii. 8 ; l.Cor. i. 13 ; GaL v. 
13 ; £ph. iv. 2, and in many other places. 
Coll iii. 14, he calls it (he bond of perfeoU 
nessy that grace which unites and binds all 
together. So doth our apostle here, and of- 
ten in this and the other epistle ; and that 
beloved disciple St. John, who leaned on our 
Saviour's breast, drank deep of that spring of 
love that was there, and therefore it streams 
forth so abundantly in his writings ; they 
contain nothing so much as this divine doc* 
trine of love. 



We have here, 1. The due qoalificadims 
of it : 2. A Christianas obligation to it. 

1. The qualifioatians are diree ; namely, 
sincerity y purity, and fervency. The sin- 
ceri^ is expressed in the fonner clause of the 
verse, tu^eigned love ; and repeated again in 
the latter part, .that it be with a pure he^t ; 
and the purity is included 'm fervency. 

1. Love must be unfeij^ned. It appears 
that dissimulation is a disease that is very 
incident in this particular. The apostle St. 
Paul hath the same word, Rom. xiL 9, and 
the apostle St. John to the same sense, 1 
John iii. 18, that it have that double reality 
which is opposed to double dissembled love ; 
that it be cordial and effectual ; that the pro- 
fessing of it arise from truth of affection, and, 
as much as may be, be seconded with action : 
that both the heart and the hand may be ra- 
ther the seal of it than the tongue : Not 
court holy-water, an empty noise of service 
and affection that fears nothing more than to ' 
be put upon trial. Although thy brother 
with whom thou conversest cannot, it may be, 
see through thy fiilse appearances. He that 
commands this love, looks chiefly within, 
seeks it there, and if he find it not there, 
hates them most that most pretend it : So 
that the art of dissembling, though never so 
well studied, cannot pass in this King*s court, 
to whom all hearts are open and all desires 
known. When, afler variances, men are 
brought to an agreement, they are much sub- 
ject to this, rather to cover their remaining 
malice with superficial verbal forgiveness, 
than to dislodge them, and free the heart of 
them. This is a poor self-deceit ; as the 
philosopher said to him, that being ashamed 
that he was espied' by him ili a tavern in the 
outer room, withdrew himself to the innci!^— 
he called after him, " That ia not the way 
out ; the more you go that way you wiU be 
the further witl^n it.'* When hatreds upon 
admonition are not thrown no^ but retire in- 
ward to hide themselves, they grow deeper 
and stronger than before: and those con- 
strained semblances of reconcilement are bat 
a false healing, do but skin the wound over, 
and therefore it usually breaks forth worse 
again. 

How few are there that have truly malice* 
less hearts, and find this entire upright 
affection towards their brethren attending 
them in their whole conversation, this law qf 
love deeply impressed on their hearts, and 
from thence expressed in their words and 
actions ! and that is unfeigned lave, as real 
to their brethren as to themselves. 

2. It must be pure, from a pure heart ; 
this is not all one with the former, as some 
take it. It is true, doubleness and hypocrisy 
is an impurity, and a great one ; but all im- 
purity is not doubleness ; one may really 
mean that friendship and affection he 



es, and yet it may be most contrary to that 



22.] 



THB FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



57 



which is hen nqulied, hecsiue impure ; sadi 
a iretheri^ lave as that of Simeon and Levi, 
hnahven in iniqnity, as the expressing them 
breikren^ Gen. zlix. is taken tomean. When 
hmts are cemented together bj imparity it- 
idf, by ungodly conversation and society in 
sin, as in nnrlpannnw or drunkenness, ice, 
this is a swinish fiatemity and friendship, 
chat is contracted, as it were, by wallowing 
in the same mire. Gdl it good fellowship, 
or wliat you will, all the firuit that in the end 
esn be expected out of unholy friendliness 
and fellowship in sinning together, is to be 
fonnented together, and to add each to the 
torment of another. The mutual h)ve of 
Christians must be pure, arising from such 
causes as are pure and spiritual, from the 
sense of our Saviour*8 command and of his 
example ; ftr he himself joins that with it, 
A new eemmandmeni give I pou, saith he, 
that at I have laved you, to you alto lave 
ene itnather, John xiiL 34. They (hat are 
indeed kvers of Oodsxe united; by that theur 
hearts meet in him as one centre. They 
CBimoc but love one another : Where a god.- 
ly man sees his Father*8 image, he is forced 
to love it ; he loves those he perceives godly, 
■o as to ddight in them, because that image 
is in them ; and those that appear destitute 
of it, he loves them so, as to wish them par- 
takers of that image. And this is all for 
God ; he loves amicum in Deo, et inimieum 
propter Deum, : That is, he loves a friend 
in God, and an enemy for God. And as the 
Christianas love is pure in its cause, so in its 
effects and exercise ; his society and converse 
with any, tends mainly to this, that he may 
■autoaUy help, and be helped, in the know- 
ledge and love of God ; he desires most, that 
he and his brethren may jointly mind their 
joomey heavenwards, and further one ano- 
ther in their way to the full ez^qyment of €K>d. 
And this is truly the love of a pure heart, 
that bodi begins and ends in God. 

3. We must love fervently, not after a 
cold indiffinent manner. Let die love of your 
brethren be as a fire within you, consuming 
that selfishness, that is so contrary to it, and 
is so natural to men ; let it set your thoughts 
on wQ^ to study how to do others good ; let 
your love be an active love, intense within 
you, and extending itself in doing good to the 
souls and bodies of your brethren, as they 
need, and you are able ; A Hum re, alium 
eoneilio, alium gratia, as Sen. de Benef. lib. 
L cap. 2. 

It is self-Jove that contracts the heart, and 
shots out an other love, both of God and man, 
aave only so &r as our own interest carries, 
and that is still self-love : But the love of 
God dilates the heart, purifies love, and ex- 
tends it to all men, but after a special manner 
directs it to those that are more peculiarly be- 
loved ot him ; and that is the particular love 
here required. 



II. The Christian's oNigaOon to this 
love, intimated in the words, love of the bre^ 
thren. In this is implied our obligation to 
it after a special manner, in loving those of 
ihe hautehold offtAth, because they are our 
bretliren. This concludes not only, as 
Abraham said, that there ought to he no 
ttrife. Gen. xiii. 8, but it binds most strong, 
ly to this sincere, and pure, and fervent love ; 
and therefore the apostle, in the next verse, 
repeats expressly die doctrine of the mys. 
terious new birth, and explains it more fully, 
which he hath mentioned in the entrance of 
the epistle, and again refened to, v. 14, 17. 

There is in this fervent love, sympathy 
with the griefs of our brethren, desire and 
endeavour to help them, bearing their infir- 
mities, and recovoing them too, if it may 
be ; raising them when they &I1, admonish- 
ing and reproving them as is needful, some- 
times sharply and yet still in love ; rejoic- 
ing in their good, in their gifts and graces ; 
so fax from envying them, that we be glad 
as if they were our own : There is the same 
blood running in their veins : You have the 
same Father, and the same Spirit witliin 
you, Aid the same Jesus Christ, the Head 
of that glorious fbitemity, the firtt-bom 
among many brethren, Rom. viii. 29 ; of 
whom the apostle saith, £ph. i. 10, that he 
hath re-eolleeied into one, all thingt in 
heaven and in earth. The word is, ga^ 
thered them into one head ; and suits very 
fitly to express our union in him. In wham, 
sajrs he in that same epistle, chap. iv. 16, 
the whole body it fitly compacted together t 
and adds, that which agrees to our purpose, 
that this body proton up and edifies itself 
in love. All the members receive spirits 
from Uie same Head, and are useful and 
serviceable one to another, and to the whole 
body. Thus these brcdiren, recdving of 
the same Spirit from their head Christ, are 
most strongly bent to the good one of ano- 
ther. If there be but a thorn in the fbot, 
the back boweth, the head stoops down, the 
eyes look, the hands reach to it, and endea- 
vour its help and ease. In a word, all the 
members partake of the good and evil one of 
another. Now, by how much this body is 
more spiritual and lively, so much the 
stronger must the unicm and love of the parts 
of it be each to the other. You are brediren 
by the same new birth, and bom to the same 
inheritance, and such an one as shall not be 
an apple of strife amongst you, to beget de- 
bates and Gontentions : No, it is enough 
for an, and none shaU prejudice another; 
but you shan have joy in the happiness one 
of another, seeing you shaU then be perfbct 
in love : all harmony, no difference in judg- 
ment or affection, all your harps tuned to 
the same new song, which you shaU sing fox 
ever. Let that love begin here, which shall 
never end. 



es 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[CHAV. r. 



And thif ume union^ I conceive, is like- 
wise expressed in Aefint woids<^ the vene : 
Seeing you tat partaken of that work of 
sanctification by the same word, and the 
flame Spirit, that works it in all the Jbithful, 
and bj that, are called and incorporated into 
that fiateznily ; dierefore liye in it, and like 
it You are purified to it, therefore love 
one another tfba that same manner pnrelj. 
XiCt the prelane world scoff that name of 
irethrenf you will not be so foolish as to be 
scorned out of it, being so honourable and 
happy ; and the day is at hand wherein those 
that scoff you, would give much more than 
all that the best of them ever possessed in 
the world, to be admitted into your niunber. 

Seeing you have furified your souk m 
obeying the truth through the Spirit. 'I 
Here is, 1. The chief seat or subject of the 
work of sanctification, the eoui, 2. The 
aubordinate means, truth. 3. The nature 
of it, obeying of truth. 4. The cliief worker 
of it, the Holy Spirit. 

For ihe/iratf The chief seat of sanctifica- 
tion, the soul : It is no doubt a work that 
goes through the whole man, renews and 
purifies all, Heb. x. 22 ; 2 Cor. vii. 1. But 
because it purifies the soul, therefore it is 
that it does purify alL There impurity be- 
gins. Mat. XV. 18, not only evil thokghts, 
but all evil actions, come forth ftom the 
heart, which is there all one with the soul ; 
and therefore this purifying begins there, 
makei the tree good, that the/ruU may be 
pood. It is not so much external peribr- 
manees that make the difference between 
men, as their inward temper. We meet 
herein the same place, and all partake of the 
same word and prayer t But how wide a 
difference is there, in 6od*s eye, betwixt an 
unwashed profime heart, in the same exer- 
cise, and a soul purified in some measure in 
obeying the truth, and desirous to be fur- 
ther purified by further obe3ring it I 

Seoondly, That which is the subordinate 
means of this purity^ is the IrtiM, or the 
word of Ood. It is truth, and pure in itself 
and begets truth and purity in the heart, by 
teaching it concerning the holy and pure 
nature of God, shewing it his holy will, 
which is to OS the rule of purity ; and by 
representing Jesus Christ unto us as the 
fountain of our purity and renovation, from 
whose Ihlness we may receive grace for 
graeOf John i. 16. 

Thirdly, The nature of this work ; thkt 
wherein die very being of tiiis purifying 
consists, is, the receiving or obeying qf this 
truth. 8o Oal. ill. I, where it is put for 
right believing. The chief point of obe- 
dience is believiug: the proper obedience 
to truth is, to give credit to it ; and this di- 
vine belief doth necessarily bring the whole 
•oul into obedience and conformity to that 
pure truth, which is in the word; and sol 



the very poiifying and renewing of the soul 
is this obedience of foith, as unbelief is its 
chief impurity and disobedience ; therefore, 
Acts XV. 9, faith is said to purify the heart. 

Fourthly, The chief worker of thia sanc- 
tificatioc^ is, the Holy Spirit of God, They 
are here said to purify themselves ; for it 
is certain and imdenfable, that the soul it- 
sdf dodi act in believing or obeying the 
truth ; but not of itself, it is not the first 
princi|de of motion. They purify their soulsy 
but it is by the Spirit. They do it by his 
enlivening power, and a purifjring virtue re- 
ceived finm him. Faith or obeying the 
truth works this purity: But Uie Holy 
Ghost works that foith ; as in the foredted 
place, God is said to purify '^*' ^^<trts by 
faith, ho doth that by giving them the Holy 
Ghost, ver. 8. The truth is pure, and pu- 
rifying, yet can it not of itself purify the 
soul, but by the obeying or believing it ; and 
the soul cannot obey or lidieve, but by the 
Spirit, which works in it that fidth, and by 
that fiuth purifies it and worics love in it. 
The impurity and earthliness of men's minds 
is the great cause of disunion and disaffec- 
tion amongst them, and of all their strifes, 
James iv. I. 

This Spirit is that fire that refines and 
purifies the soul from the dross of earthly 
desires that possess it, and sublimates it to 
the love of Qod and (Xf his saints, because 
they are his, and are purified by the same 
Spirit. It is the property of fire to draw 
together things of the same kind ; the ouu 
wind fire of enmities and penecutions that is 
kindled against the godly by the worid, doth 
somewhat, and if it were more considered 
by them, would do more, in this knitting 
their hearts closer one to another ; but it is 
this inward pure and purifying fire of the 
Holy Ghost that doth most powerfully unite 
them. 

The true reason why there is so little truth 
of this Christian mutual love amongst those 
that are called Cliristians, is, because there 
is so little of this purifying obedience to the 
truth, whence it fiows ; foith unfoigned 
would beget this love unfeigned t Men may 
exhort to them both, but they require the 
hand of God to work them in the heart. 

Vkr. 8S. Behiff bora agate, not of com mtM e ned, 
but of InooiTupUble, by the word of Ood* which 
llyeth and aUcieth for ever. 

The two things that make up the apostle*B 
exhortation, are the very sum of a Christianas 
duty ; to walk as obedient diildren towards 
God, and as loving brethren one towards 
another : And that it may yet have the 
deeper impression, he here represents to them 
anew, that new birth he mentioned before, 
by which they are the children of God, and 
so brethren. 

M^e shall first speak of this rogeneratioo : 



▼CK. 23. ] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



00 



And then of the seed. Isty Of the regene- 
BdoD itself: This is the great dignity of 
lidieren, that they are the sons of Ood, 
John i. 12, and the great evidence of the 
lore of God, that he hath hestowed this 
dignity on diem, 1 John iii. 1. For they 
an no way need^ to him ; he had from 
eternity a Son perfectly like himself, ihe 
dkaraeter of his Perton^ Heb. i. 3, and 
one Spirit proceeding fiom both ; and there 
is no creation, neither the first nor the se- 
cond, can add any thing to those, and theb 
happiness ; it is most true of that blessed 
Trinity, Saiia amplum alter aiteri tkea- 
trum 9umus. But the gracious purpose of 
God, to impart his goodness, appears in this, 
that be hath made himself >such a multitude 
of sons, not only angels that are so called, 
but man, a little lower than they in nature, 
yet dignified with (his name in Ids creation, 
St. liuke iii. 38, IVhich was the son of 
Adamy which was the son of God, He had 
not only the impression of Ood*s fi>oC8teps, 
as they speak, which aQ the creatures have, 
but hia image ; and most (^ all In this is his 
lidi grace magnified, that sin having deftced 
that image, and so degraded man from his 
honour, and divested him of that title of 
aonship, and stamped our polluted nature 
with the marks of vilcness and bondage, 
yea, with the very image of Satan, rebellion, 
and enmity against God ; that out of man- 
kind thus ruined and degenerated, God 
should raise to himself a new race and ge- 
Bcntion of sons. 

For this design was the Word made/lesh, 
John i. 12, 13, 14. The Son was made 
man, to make men the sons of God ; and it 
la by him alone we are restored to this ; they 
that receive him, receive with him, and in 
Um, this privilege, ver. 12 ; And therefbre 
it is a sonship by adoption, and is so called 
in scripture, in difference from His eternal 
and ineffable generation, who is and was the 
9nip~beffOiten Son of God: Yet that we 
may know that this divine adoption is not a 
mere outward relative name, as that of men, 
the sonahip of the saints is here, and often 
dsewhere in scripture, expressed by new ge- 
neraOon, and new birth. They are begot- 
ten qf God, John i. 13 ; I John ii. 29. A 
■ew being, a spiritual life, is commimicated 
to them, they have in them of their Father^s 
Spirit, and this is derived to them through 
Christ, and therefbre called his Spirit, Gal. 
IV. 6. They are not only accounted of the 
ftmHy of God by adoption, but by this new 
birth they are indeed his children, partakers 
of the divine nature, as our apostle express- 
etfa it. 

Now, though it be easy to speak and hear 
the words of this doctrine, yet the truth it- 
sdf that is in it, is so high and mysterious, 
that it is altogether impossible, without a 
foition of this new nature, to conceive of it 



Corrupt nature cannot understand it. What 
wonder that there is nothing of it in the sub- 
tilest schools of philosophers, when a very 
doctor in Israel mistook it grossly, John iii. 
10. It is indeed a great mystery, and he 
that was the sublimestof all Ihe Evangelists, 
and therefiyre called die Divine, the soaring 
eagle, as they compare him, he is more abun* 
dant in this subject than the rest. 

And the most profitable way of consider- 
ing this regeneration and sonShip, is cer- 
tainly to follow the light of those holy writ- 
ings, and not to jangle in disputes about the 
order and manner of it ; of which, though 
somewhat may be profitably said, and safely, 
namely, so' much as the scripture speaks, yet 
much that is spoken of it, and debated by 
many, is but an useless expense of time and 
pains. What those previous dispositions are, 
and how far they go, and where is the mark 
or point of difference betwixt them, and the 
inf^on of sjMritual life, I conceive not easily 
determinable. 

If naturalists and physicians cannot agree 
upon the order of fbrmation of the parts of 
the human body in the womb, how much 
less can we be peremptory in the other ! If 
there be so many wonders, as indeed there 
are, in the natural structure and frame of 
man, how much richer in wonders must this 
divine and supernatural generation be ! See 
how David speaks of the former, Ps. cxxxix. 
14. Things spiritual being more refined 
than material things, their worionanship must 
be far more wonderful and curious. But 
then it must be viewed with a spiritual eye. 
There is an unspeakable lustre and beauty 
of the new creaturej but the mixture of all 
divine graces, each setting off* another, as so 
many rich colours in embroidery ; but who 
can trace that invisible hand that works it, 
so as to determine of the order, and to say 
which was first, which second, and so on, 
whether faith, or repentance, and all gr&ces, 
&c. ? This is certain, that these and aSk 
graces do inseparably make up the same 
work, and are all in the new formation of 
every soul that is bom again. 

If the ways of Ood*s universal providence 
be untraceable, then most of aU the workings 
of his grace are conducted in a secret unper- 
ceivable way in this new birth : He gives 
this spiritual being as the dew, which is si- 
lendy and insensibly formed, and this gene- 
ration of the sons of God is compared to it 
by the Psalmist, Ps. ex. 3. Thsy have this 
original from heaven as the dew, John iii. 3, 
Except a man be bom from above, he ean^ 
not enter into the kingdom of God, And 
it is the peculiar work of the Spirit of God, 
as he himself speaks of the dew to Job, 
(Job xxxviii. 28), Hath the rain a father, 
or who hath begotten the drops of the dew 9 
The sharpest wits are to seek in the know, 
ledge and discovery of it, as Job speaketh nf 



A COMMBNTARY UPON 



[CRAP.t 



a way that no fowl knoweih, and which the 
tyUureU eye hath not seen. Job xxviii. 7* 

To contest much, how in thia regenera- 
tion He work& upon the wUl, and renews it, 
is to little purpose, provided this be granted, 
that it is in his power to regenerate and re- 
new a man at his pleasure : And how is it 
possible not to grant this, unless we will run 
into that error to think, that God hath made 
a creature too hard for himself to rule, or 
hath willingly exempted it ? And shall the 
works of the Almightj, cspedallj this woik, 
wherein most of all others he glories, flEdl in 
his hand, and remain imperfect ? Shall there 
be any abortive births whereof God is the 
Father ? Shall I bring to the birth, says 
he, and not cause to bring forth 9 laa. Ixvi. 
9. No ; no sinner so dead, but there is 
Tirtue in His hand to revive out of the very 
stones. Though the most impenitent hearts 
are as stones within them, yet he can make 
qf them children to Abraham, Luke iii. 8. 
He can dig out the heart of stone, and put 
a heart qfjtesh, (Esek. xxxvi. 26), in its 
place, odierwise he would not have made 
such a promise, John i. 18, Not of Jleeh, 
nor of the will of man, but t^f God. If his 
sovereign will be not a sufficient principle of 
this regeneration, why then says the apostle 
St. James, Of his own will begat he us 9 
and he adds the subordinate cause, by the 
word of truth. Jam. i. 18, which is here 
called the immortal seed of this new birth. 

Therefore it is that the Lord hath ap- 
pointed the continuance of the ministry of 
this word, to this end, that his Church may 
be still fruitful, bringing forth sons unto him ; 
ihat the assemblies of his people may be like 
flocks of sheep comitig up from the washing, 
none barren amongst them. Cant. iv. 2. 

Though the ministers of this word, by 
reason of their employment in dispensing it, 
have by the Scriptures the relation of parents 
imparted to them, which is an exceeding 
great dignity for them, as they are called eo^ 
workers with God ; and the same apostle 
that writes so, calls the Galatians his little 
children, of whom he travailed in birth 
again, till Christ were formed in them ; and 
the ministers of God have often very much 
pain in this travail,— -yet the privilege of the 
Father of Spirits remains untouched ; which 
is effectually to beget again these same spirits 
which he creates, and to make that seed of 
the wcffd fruitful, that way, where, and when 
he wilL The preacher of the word, be he 
never so powerful, can cast this seed only 
into the ear, his hand reaches no further ; 
and the hearer, by his attention, may convey 
it into his head : but it is the Supreme 
Father and Teacher above, that carries it 
into the heart, the only soil wherein it proves 
lively and fruitful. One man cannot reach 
the heart of another ; how should he then re- 
new ito firuitfulness ? If natural birthi< have 



been alwajrs acknowledged to belong to God's 
prerogative. Psalm cxxvii. 3, Lo, children 
are an heritage qf the Lord, and the/ruU 
of the womb is his reward ; and so Jacob 
answered wisely to his wifo*s foolish passion^ 
Am I in God's stead 9 Qta, xxx. 2. Hoir 
much more is this new birdi wholly depend* 
ant on His hand ! 

But though this word cannot beget with* 
out him, yet it is by this word that he be- 
gets, and ordinarily not without it. It la 
true that the substantial eternal Word is to 
us, as we said, the spring of this new birth 
and life, the head from whom the spirits of 
this supernatural life flow ; but that by the 
word here is meant the Gospd, the apostle 
puts out of doubt, ver. 26, And this is the 
word which by the Gospel is preached unta 
you. Therefore thus is this word really the 
seed of this new birth, because it contains 
and declares that other Word, the Son of 
God, as our life. The word is spoken in 
common, and so is the same to all heaien ; 
but then all hearts being naturally ahvt 
against it, God doth by his own hand open 
some to receive it, and mixes it with faith, 
and those it renews, and restoreth in them 
the image of God, draws the traces of it 
anew, and makes them the sons of God. 
My doctrine shall drop as the dew, says 
Moses, Deut. xxxii. 2. The word as a 
heaveidy dew, not falling beside, but drop- 
ped into the heart by the hand of God^s own 
Spirit, makes it all become spiritual and hea- 
venly, and turns it into one of those drops of 
dew that the children of God are compared 
to, PsaL ex. 3, Thou hast the dew of thy 
youth. 

The natural estate of the soul is daikness, 
and the word, as a divine light shining into 
it, transforms the soul into its own nature ; 
so that as the word is called light, so is the 
soul that is renewed by it. Ye were darkness, 
but now are ye, not oiily enlightened, but 
light in the Lord, Eph. v. 8. All the evils 
of the natural mind are often compriied un- 
der the name of daikness and error, and there- 
fore is the whole work of conversion likewise 
signified by light and truth. He begat us by 
the word qf truth. Jam. i. 18. So 2 Cor. 
iv. 6, allu^ng to the first Fiat Lux, or L9i 
there be light, in the creation ; the word 
brought within the soul by the Spirit, lets it 
see its own necessity and Christ's sufiidency, 
convinceth it thoroughly, and causeth it to 
cast over itself upon Him for life ; and this 
is the very begetting of it' again to eternal 
life. 

So that this efficacy of the word to prove 
successful seed, doth not hang upon the dif- 
ferent abilities of preachers, their having more 
or less rhetoric or learning. It is true, 
eloquence hath a great advantage in civil and 
monl things, to persuade, and to draw the 
hearers by the earn, almost which way it will : 



▼sm. 23.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



61 



Bat in this ■phitual woik, to lerive ft soul, 
to beget it anew, the influenee of Heaven is 
llic main thing lequisite; there is no way 
ao eonunon and plain, being wananted hj 
God in the ddiTeiy of saving truth, but the 
Spijit of God can xeviye the eonl by it ; and 
the most skilful and authoritative way, yea, 
being withal veiy spiritual, yet maj effbct no- 
thing, because left alone to itself: One word 
of H6ly Scripture, or of truth confbrmable to 
it, may be the principle of regeneration, to 
lihn Aat hath heard multitudes of excellent 
■ennons, and hath often read the whole Bible, 
and hath still - continued unchanged. If the 
Spirit of God prsached tliat one^ or any such 
w^sd to the soul, God so loved the worlds 
tkai he pave his only-begoiten Son, that 
whosoever should believe in him should not 
perithy but hmve everlasting l\fey John iii. 
15 ; it will be cast down by the hax of perish- 
Ihg, and driven out of itself by that, and lais- 
cd up and drawn to Jesus Cluistby the hope 
of everlasting life ; it will believe on iiim that 
it may have lifie, and be inflamed with the 
love of God, and give itself to Him that so 
loved the world, as to give his only-begotten 
Son to purchase us that everlasting life. 
Thus may that word prove this immortal 
■eed, whidi, though very often read and heard 
before, was but a dead letter. A drop of 
those liquors that are called spirits, operates 
more than large draughts of other waters ; 
one word spoken by the Lord to the heart, is 
all spirit, and doth that which whole streams 
of man's eloquence could never effect. 

In hearing of the word, men lode usually 
too much upon men, and forget fiom what 
qving the word hath its power; they ob* 
serve too nanowly the dififerent hands of the 
aowen, and too little depend on His hand, 
who is great Lord of both seed-time and 
harvest : Be it sown by a weak hand, or a 
stronger, the immortal seed is still the same ; 
yea, suppose the wont, that it be a foul hand 
tliat sows it, that the preacher himself be not 
ao sanctified, and of so edifying a Ufe as you 
would wish, yet the seed itse& being good, 
oootxicts no defilement, and may be ^ectual 
to regeneratian in some, and strengthening 
in o&rs; although he that is not renewed 
by it himself, cannot have much hope of such 
auoeessy nor reap much comfijrt by it, 
and usually doth not seek nor regard it 
much ; but all instruments are alike in an 
Ahmghty hand. 

Hence loam, 1. That true conversion is 
not BO slight a woik as we commonly account 
it. It is not the outward change of some bad 
cnstoma which gains the name of a reformed 
man in the ordinary dialect ; it is a new Urth 
and being, and elsewhere adled a new erea^ 
Hon. Though it be but a change in quali- 
ties, yet it is such a one, and the qualities so 
ikr distant ftom what they before were, that 
It beaa the name of the most substantial pro- 



ductions ; from children of dtsobedienee^ 
and that which is linked with it, heirs qf 
teraihy to be sons of God and heirs of glory s 
They Iwve a new spirit given, a free princely 
noble spirit, as the word is, Psal. li. 10, and 
this spirit acts in their life and actions. 

2. Consider this dignity, and be kindled 
with an ambition worthy o£ it. How doth a 
Christian pity that poor vanity that men make 
so much noise about of their kindred and ex- 
traction ! This is worth glorying in indeed, 
to be of the highest blood-royal, sons of the 
King of kings, by this new birth, and in the 
nearest relation to Him ; this adds match- 
less honour to that birth which is so honour- 
able in the esteem of the world. 

But we all pretend to be of this number. 
Would we not study to cozen ourselves, the 
discovery whether we are, or not, would not 
be so htfd. 

In many, their fidse confidence is too evi- 
dent ; and ^ere is no appearance of the Spirit 
of God, not a footstep like his leading, and 
of that character, As many as are led by the 
Spirit of God, they are the children of God, 
Rom. viii. 14 ; not a Uneament of €h>d'B 
visage ; as their Father, If ye know that he 
is righteous^ says St. John ii. 29, ye know 
then that every one that doth righteousness 
is bom itf him. And so, on the other hand, 
how contrary to the mo6t holy GK>d, the lover 
and fountain of holiness, are they that swin- 
ishly love to wallow in the mire of unholf- 
ness I Is swearing and cursing the accent 
of the regenerate, the children of God ? No: 
It is the language of hell. Bo children de- 
light to indignify and dishonour their father*s 
name ? No : Earthly-mindedness is a coun- 
tersign. Shall the king's cliildxen, they that 
were brought up in scarlet, as Jeremiah la- 
ments, embrace the dunghill $ Lam. iv. 5. 
Princes, by their high birth and education, 
have usually their hearts filled with far high- 
er thoughts than mean persons ; the chil£en 
of the poorer sort beixig pinched that way, 
their greatest thoughu, as they grow up, are 
ordinarily how they shall shift to live, how 
they shaU get bread ; but princes think either 
of conquest, or of governing of kingdoms. 
Are you not bom to a better inheritance, if 
indeed bom again ? why then do you vilify 
yourselves P why are you not more in prayer P 
There are no dumb children among those that 
are bom of God ; they have aU that spirit of 
prayer, by which they not only sp^ but 
ory, Abba, Father. 

2dly, We come to consider the seed of this 
regeneration, the word of God. The most 
part of us esteem the preaching of the word, 
as a transient discourse, that amuses us for ^ 
an hour. We look for no more, and there- 
fore we find no more. We receive it not as 
the immortal seed of our regeneration, as the 
ingrafted word that is able to save our souls. 
Jam. i. 21. Oh ! Icam to reverence this 



68 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[CHAF. t. 



holy and hafmr ordinance of Ood, this word 
oi life, and Imow that they that are not re- 
generated, and so saved by it, shall be judg- 
ed by it. 

iNTo/ of corruptible ieed,] It is a main 
cause of the unsuitable and unworthy beha- 
viour of Christians, those that profess them- 
selves such, that a great part of them either 
do not know, or at least do not seriously and 
frequently consider, what is indeed the 
estate and quality of Christians, how excel- 
leat and of what descent their new nature is ; 
therefore Uiey are often to be remembered of 
this. Our apostle here doth so, and by it 
binds on all his exhortations. 

Of this new being we have here tliese two 
things: I. Its high original, from Ood, 
begotten €tgain of hia toard : 2. That which 
so much commends good things, its dura- 
tion ; and this follows of the other ; for if 
the principle of this life be incorruptible, it- 
self must be so too. The word of God is 
not only a living and ever-abiding word in 
itself; but likewise in reference to this new 
birth, and spiritual life, of a Christian : And 
so that which is here spoken of is intended, 
and it is therefore caUed not only an abiding 
word, but incorruptible seed, which ex- 
pressly relates to regeneration. And be- 
cause we are most sensible of the good and 
evil of things by comparison, the everlast- 
ingness of the word, and that spiritual life 
which it begets, is set oflT by the frailty and 
shortness of natural life, and all the good 
that concerns it. This he expresseth in the 
words of Isaiah in the next verse. 

Vbr. 94. For 9l\ flcflh h at grass, and all the riory 
of man an the flower of gnss. The gran wither- 
ech, and the flower thereof fialleth away. 

Iw expressing the vanity and frailty of the 
natural life of man, it agrees very well with 
the subject to call him fleshy giving to the 
whole man the name of his corruptible part ; 
both to make the wretched and perishing 
condition of this life more sensible, and man 
the more humble by it : For though by pro- 
viding all for the flesh, and bestowing his 
whole time in the endeavours which are of 
the fle8h*s concernment, he remembers it too 
much, and forgets his spiritual and immor- 
tal part ; yet in that over eager care for the 
flesh, in some sense, he seems to forget that he 
is flesh, or at least that flesh is periling ; be- 
cause flesh extendeth his desires and projects 
so fiir for the flesh as if it were immortal, 
and should always abide to enjoy and use 
these things ; as the philosopher said of his 
countrymen, upbraiding at once their sur- 
feitings and excess in feasting, and their 
sumptuousness in building, " That (hey eat 
as if they meant to die to-morrow, and yet 
build as if they were never to die." Thus 
in men*s immoderate pursuits of earth, they 
seem both to forget tliat they arc any thing 



dae bodde flesh, and in this aeiiie too to fiir* 
get that they are flesh, that is, mortal and 
perishing; they neither rightly remember 
their immortality nor their mortality. If 
we consider what it is to •be flesh, the nam* 
Ing of that were suflicioit to the purpose. 
All man isfleeh. But is plainer thus. All 
fieeh ie grase. Thus in the psalm, He iv« 
membered that they were but fUah ; that 
speaks their frailty enoitgh, but it is added, 
to make the vanity of their estate the dearer, 
a wind that paeseth and cometh not offain, 
PsaL IxxviU. 39. So PsaL cui. 16, As for 
man, his days are as grass : as ajhwer i^ 
the field so he flourisheth. For the ttind 
passeth over it, and it is gone ; and tha 
place thereqf shall know it no fowre. 

This natural life is compared, even by na« 
tural men, to the vainest things, and scaioa 
find they things light enough to express it 
vain ; and as it is here called grass, so the^ 
compare the generations of men to the leaves 
of trees. But the light of scripture doth 
most discover this, and it is a lesscm that re* 
quires the Spirit of Ood to teach it aright. 
Teach usy says Moses, Psal. xc 12, so to 
number our days, that we may apply our 
hearts unto wisdom ; and David, PsaL 
xxxix. 4, Make me to know my life, hom 
frail I am. So Jam. iv. 14 ; and here it it 
called grass- So Job xiv. 1, 2. Man thai 
is bom of a woman is of few days, and 
fnll of trouble. He cometh forth like a 
flower, and is cut down* 

Grass hath its roots in the earth, and is 
fed by the moisture of it for a while ; but 
besides that, it is under the haxard of sudi 
weather as favours it not, or the scythe thai 
cuts it down; give it all the fbrbearanoe 
that may be, let it be fiee from both those;, 
yet how quickly will it wither of itself ! Set 
aside those many accidents, the smallest of 
which is able to destroy our natural life, the 
diseases of our own bodies, and outward vio- 
lences and caswalries that cut down many 
in their greenness, in the flowerof their youth, 
the utmost t«nn is not long ; in (he oouxse 
of nature it wUl wither. Our life is indeed 
a lighted torch, either blown out by some 
Btrdce, or some wind ; or if spared, ]ret with* 
in a while it bums away, and will ^ out of 
itself. 

And all the glory qf man,] That is ele* 
gwidy added. There is indeied a great deal 
of seeming diflSsrence betwixt the outward 
ooodition of life amongst meax ahall tha 
rich, and honourable, and beantifid, and 
healthftd, go in together, under the same 
name, with the baser and unhappier sort, the 
poor wretched sort of the world, thai seem to 
be bom fbr nothing but sufferings and ml* 
series ? At least, hath the wise no advan* 
tage beyond fools ; is all grass ? Make you 
no distinction ? No, all is grass ; or if you 
will have some other name, be it so^ onoe 



TEH. 24.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



63 



this is true, that aU fleih U gnas : and if 
that glozy Uiat ahinea so much in jour 'eyes 
must have a difieren'ce, then this is all it can 
hare^ it is hut the flower of that same grass, 
somewhat above the common grass in gay- 
nesa, a little comelier, and better appaieUed 
than it, but partaker of its frail and &ding 
nature ; hath no privilege nor immunity that 
way, yea, of the two the less durable, and 
usually shorter lived ; at the best it decays 
with it, the grass tpUhereth, and thejhwer 
thereof faUeth atoay. 

How easily and quickly hath the highest 
splendour of a man's prosperity been blasted, 
either by men*8 power, or by the immediate 
hand of Ood ! The Spirit of the Lord 
blows upon it, as Isaiah there says, and by 
that, not only withers the grass, but the 
flower fades, though never so fiiir; when 
thou correctest man for iniquity, thou 
makest hU beauty to consume like a meth, 
Paal. xxxix. 11. How many have the ca- 
sualties of fire, or war, or shipwreck, in one 
day ot night, or a small part of either, turn- 
ed out of great riches into extreme poverty I 
And the instances are not few, of those that 
have on a sudden, fallen fimn the top of ho- 
nour into the foulest disgraces, not by dfe* 
greet conung down the stair they went up, 
but tumbled down headlong. And the most 
vigorous beauty, and strength of body, how 
doth a few days', sickness, or if it escape 
that, a few years' time, blast that flower ! 
Yea, those higher advantages that have some- 
what both of truer and more lasting beauty 
in them, the endowments of wit, and learn- 
ing, and eloquence, yea, and of moral good- 
ness and virtue, yet they cannot rise above 
this word, they are still in. all their glory but 
the fUwer of grass, their root is in the 
earth. Natural onuuncnts axe of some use 
in this present life, but they reach no fur- 
ther. When men have wasted their strength, 
and endured the toil of study night and day, 
it is but a small parcel of knowledge they 
can attain to, and they are forced to lie 
down in the dust, in the midst of their pur- 
suit of it ! That head that lodges most 
sdencea, shall within a while be disfiimish- 
ed of them all ; and the tongue that qieaks 
roost languages, silenced. 

The great ptojects of kings and princes, 
and they also themselves, come under this 
same notion ; all the vast designs that are 
fiaming in theb heads fid! to the ground in 
a moment ; they return io tMr dust, and 
in thai day aU their thoughts perish, Psal. 
cxlvi. 4. Archimedes was killed in the 
midst of his demonstration. 

If they themselves did consider this In the 
heat of dieir affairs, it would much allay the 
swelling and loftiness of their minds ; and 
if they that live upon their favour, would 
consider it, they would not value it at so high 
a ZBtc^ and buy it so dear as of^en they do. 



Men of hut degree are vanity, says the 
Psalmist, Psal. Ixii. 9 ; but he adds, Men 
(if high degree are a lie. From base mean 
persons we expect nothing, but the estate of 
great persons promises fair, and often keeps 
not ; therefore they are a lie, although they 
can least endure that word. 

They are in respect of mean persons as 
the flower to the grass ; somewhat a fairer 
lustre they have, but no more eitdurance, nor 
exemption from decaying : Thus then it is an 
universal and undeniable truth. It begins 
with a ZuTi, and is as sure a conclu8i(»i as 
the surest of these in their best demonstrations 
which they call Bmcj. And as particular 
men, so whole states and kingdoms are 
thus ; they have their budding, flourishing, 
and withering ; and it is in both as with 
flowers, when they are fullest spread, then 
they are near their declining and withering i 
and thus it is with all whole generations of 
men upon earth, as Solomon says, One 
goeth and another eomeHh, Eccl. i. 4, but 
not a word of abiding at all. We in our 
thoughts shut up death into a very narrow 
compas^t, namely, in the moment dS our ex* 
piring ; but the truth is, as the moralist ob- 
serves, it goes through all our life ; for we 
are still losing, and spending it as we enjoy 
it, yea, our very enjo3ring it, is the spending 
it; yesterday's life is dead to-day, and so 
shall this day's life be to-morrow. We spend 
our years, says Moses, as a tale, Psal. xc. 
8, or as a thought, so swif^ and vanishing is 
it. Each word helps a tale towards its end^ 
and while it lasts it is generally vanity, and 
when it is done it vanishes as a sound in 
the air. What is become of all the pom^ 
pous solemnities of kings and princes, at 
their births and marriages, coronations and 
triumphs ? they are now as a dream ; as 
Luke, Acts xxv. 23, calls all the pomp of 
Agrippa, Bemice, and their train, fatrewim, 
a mere flmcy. 

Hence leam the folly and pride of man, 
that can glory and pleiise himself in the frail 
and wretdied being he hath here, that dotes 
on this poor natural life, and cannot be per- 
suaded to think on one higher and more 
abiding. Although the course of times, and 
his dSly experience, tell him this truth^ 
thai aU flesh is grass s yea, the Prophet 
prefixes to these words a command of cry- 
ing : they must be shouted aloud in our ears 
ere we will hear them, and by the time the 
sound of the cry is done, we have forgot it 
again. Would we consider this in the midst 
of those vanities that toss our light minds to 
and fVo, it would give us wiser thoughts, and 
ballast our hearts ; make them more solid 
and stedfast in those spiritual endeavours 
which concern a durable condition, a being 
that abides for ever ; in comparison of which, 
the longest term of natural life is less than a 
moment, and the happiest estate of it but a 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



(chap. I. 



lie»p of mifloies. Were aU of us more con. 
Btantly prosperous than any of us is, yet that 
ODS thing were enough to cry down the price 
we put upon this Ufie,— that it continues not. 
As he answered to one that had a mind to 
flatterhim in the midst of a pompous triumph, 
by saying, What is vranting here f Con- 
Hnuaneef said he. It was wisely said at 
any time, but wisest of all to have so sober 



ing and everlasting word of the living and 
everlasdng God, and is therefore such, be- 
cause He, whose it is, is such. 

Now, diis is not to betaken In an abstract 
sense of the word, only in its own nature, 
but as the principle of regeneradon, the teed 
of this new life ; because the word is en- 
livening and living, therefore they with whom 
it is effectual, and into whose hearts it k re* 



a thought in such a solemnity, in which I cdved, are begotten again, and made alive 
weak heads cannot escape either to be wholly by it, and because the word is incorruptible^ 



drunk, or somewhat giddy at least : Sure 
we forget this, when we grow vain upon any 
human glory or advantage ; the colour of it 
pleaseth us, and we forget that it is but a 
flower, and foolishly over-esteem it ; this is 
that madness upon flowers, that is some- 
where in request, where thev will give as 
much for one flower as would buy a good 
dwelling-house. Is it not a most fodish 
bargain to bestow continual pains and dili- 
gence upon purchasing of great possessions 
or honours, if we believe this, that the best 
of them is no other but a shcnt-Uved flower, 
and neglect the purchase of those glorious 
mansions of eternity, a garland of such 
flowers as wither no^ an unfading crown, 
that everlasting lifo and those everlasting 
pleasures that are at the right hand of God ? 
Now that life which shi^ never end must 
begin here, it is the new spiritual life, 
whereof the word of Ood is the inunortal seed ; 
and in opposition to corruptible seed, and 
the corruptible life of flesh, it is here said to 
endure for ever. And for this end is the 
irailty of natural life mentioned, that our af- 
fections may be drawn off from it to this spi- 
ritual life that is not subject unto death. 

Van. 95. But the word of the Lord endureth for 
ever t and this It the word which by the gospd b 
preached unto you. 

The word of God is so like hfansd^ and 
carries so plainly the image and impression 
of his power and wisdom, that where these 
•re spoken of together, it is sometimes doubt- 
ful, whether the expressions are to be refer- 
red to himself, or to his word, so Heb. iv. 
12. and so here : But there is no haaud in 
referring them either way, seeing there is 
truth in both, and pertinency too ; for they 
that refbr them to Ood affirm that they are 
Intended for the extolling of his word, being 
the subject in hand, and that we may know 
it to be like him : But I rather think that 
hen the apostle speaks of the word ; it is 
said to be quick or living (im) in the fore- 
dted text, as well as in the passage before 
us: And the phrase ahiding for ev^, is 
expressly repeated of it here, in the Pro- 
phet*s words. And, with respect to those 
learned men that apply diem to Ood, I re- 
member not that this abiding for ever is 
used to express Ood*s eternity in himself. 
Howsoever, this incorruptible seed is the Uv- 



and endureth ibr ever, therefore that life be- 
got by it is such too, cannot perish nor be 
cut down, as the natural life ; no, this spiritual 
lift of grace is the certain beginning of that 
eternal lift of glory, and shall issue in it, 
and tfaerefbre hath no end. 
- As the word of Ood in itself cannot be 
abolished, but surpasses the endurance of 
heaven and earth, as our Saviour teaches ; 
and all the attempts of men against the di- 
vine truth of that word to undo it, are as vain 
as if they should consult to pluck the sun 
out of the flrmament; fo likewise In the 
heart of a Christian, it (s immortal and in- 
corruptible. Where it is once received by 
faith, it cannot be obliterated again ; all the 
powers of darkneri cannot destroy it, al* 
though they be never so diligent in their at- 
tempts that way s And diis is the comfort 
of die saints, that though the lifo whidi 
Gtod by his word hath breadied into their 
souls have many and strong enemies, sodi 
as they, themselves could never hold. out 
against, yet for his own glory and his pro- 
mise sake, he will maintain that life, and 
bring it to its perfecdon : God will perfect 
that which eonoemeth me^ saith the Psal- 
mist, PsaL cxxxviii. 8. It is grossly con- 
trary to the truth of the Scriptiures to Ima- 
gine, that they that are thus renewed can be 
unborn again : This new birth is but once;, 
of one kind; though they are subject to 
fraildes and weaknesses here, in this spiri- 
tual life, yet not to deadi any more, nor to 
such way of sinning as would extinguish dils 
life. This is tha^ which the apostle John 
says. He that is bom of God einneth notf 
and the reason he add% Is the same diat la 
here given, the permanence and Incomipd- 
bleness of this word, the eeed ef God Md» 
eth in Aim, 1 John lU. 9. 

This is the word which by the ffoepel is 
preached unto you.] It is not sufficient to 
have these thoughts of die word of Ood in a 
general way, and not to know what that word 
is; but we must be persuaded, that that 
wcffd which is preached to «t«, is this very 
word of so excellent virtue, and of which these 
high things are spoken, that it is ineormp^ 
title and abideth for ever^ and therefore 
suipassep all the world, and all the ezoeilen- 
des and glory cf it Although delivered by 
weak men, die aposdes, and by fiur weaker 
than they in the constant ministry of it, yet 



1,2.] 



THE FIRST EPISTIiE OF PETER. 



65 



it loaeth none of its own Yirtoe; for that 
depends upon the fint owner and author of 
it, the ever-liring God, who bj^ it begets his 
ihoien unto life etemaL 

This, therefore, is that which we should 
leam thus to hear, and thus to receive, es- 
teem, and lore ; this holy, this living word ; 
to despise all the glistening vanities of this 
peiishing life, all outward pomp, yea, all in- 
ward worth, all- wisdom and natiual endow- 
ments of mind, in comparison of the heaven- 
ly light of the Gospel preached unto us: 
Rather to haiard aU than lose that, and 
banish all other things from that place that 
is due to it ; to lodge it alone in our hearts, 
as our only treasure here, and the certain 
pledge of that treasure of gloiy laid up for 
us in heaven. To which blessed state may 
God of his infinite mercy bring us. Amen. 



CHAP. II. 

Vaa. 1. Wherefore, laying aiide all malice, and all 
gttlte, and hypocows, and enries, and ,aU eril- 



Vba. £. As new-bocn babes* dedre the ilDoere milk 
of the woid, that ye may grow thereby. 

Ths asme power and goodness of God 
diat manifests itself in giving being to his 
creatures, appears likewise in sustaining 
and pseserving them. To give being is the 
first, and to support it, is the continued 
cficct of that power and goodness. Thus it 
is, both in the first creation, and in the se- 
cond: In the first, the creatures to which 
he gave life, he provided with convenient 
noniishment to uphold that lifie. Gen. L 1 1 : 
So here, in the close of the fbimer chapter, 
we find the doctrine of the new birth and 
life of a Christian ; and in the beginning of 
this, the proper food of that life ; and It is 
the same word by which we there find it to 
be begotten, that is here the nourishment of 
it; iad therefore Christians are here ez- 
hflrted by the apostle so to esteem, and so to 
nse it : and that is the main seope of the 
word. 

Ohterve in general : The word, the prin- 
ciple, and the support of our spiritual beings 
is both the ineorruptibU tetd and the Jnoor- 
mjilii/f/NNf of that new li& of grace, which 
must therefore be an incorruptible life : And 
this may convince us, that the ordlnaiy 
thoui^ts, even of us that hear this word, are 
&r below the true excellency and worth of 
it. The stream of custom and our profi»- 
aUn, bring us hither, and we sit out our 
boor, under the sound of this word; but 
how few consider and prise it, as the great 
ordinance of God, for the salvation of souls, 
the beginner and the sustainer of the divine 
life of grsce within us ; and certainly, until 
we have these thoughts of it, and seek to 
M it thus ourselves, although we hear it 



most frequently and slip no occasion, yea, 
hesr it with attention and some present de- 
light, yet still we miss the right use of it, 
and turn it from its true end, while we take 
it not as thai ingrafted word which is able 
to save our souls. Jam. i. 21. 

Thus ought they that preach to speak it, 
to endeavour their utmost to accommodate it 
to this end ; that sinners may be converted, 
begotten again, md believers nourished and 
strengthened in their spiritual life ; to regard 
no lower end, but aim steadily at that mark. 
Their hesrts and tongues ought to be set on 
fire with holy seal for God, and love to souls, 
kindled by die Holy Ghost, that came down 
on the apostles in the shape of fiery tongues. 

And they that hear, should remember this 
as the end of their hesring, that they may 
receive spiritual hit and strength by the 
word : For though it seem a poor despicable 
business, that a frail sinful man like your- 
selves speak a few words in your hearing ; 
yet look upon it as the way wherein God 
communicates happiness to them that be- 
lieve, and works that believing unto happi- 
ness, alters the whole frame of the soul, and 
makes a new creation, as it begets it again 
to the inheritance of glory ; consider it thus, 
which is its true notion, and then what can 
be so precious ! Let the world disesteem it 
as they will, know ye, that iiisthe power of 
God unto salvaHon : The preaching of the 
cross is to them that perish, foolishness ; 
but unto Hhem that are saved, it is the 
power of God, says the apostle, 1 Cor. i. 18. 
And if .you would have the experience of 
this, if you would have life and growth by 
it, you must look above the poor worthless 
messenger, and call in his Almighty hdp, 
who is Uie Lord of life. As the phUoeophers 
aflirm, that if the heavens should stand still, 
there would be no generation nor flourish- 
ing of any thing here below, it is the moving 
and influence of the Sj^rit that makes the 
Church fruitfuL Happy would it be if yon 
would be persuaded to do this before you 
come hither : Present the blindness of your 
minds, and the deadness of your hearts to 
God, and say, '^ Lord, here is an opportu-, 
nity for thee to shew the power of thy word. 
I woidd find life and .strength in it ; but 
neither can I that hear, nor he that speaks, 
make it thus unto me ; that is thy preroga 
tive; say thou the word, and it shall be 
done.*' God said. Let there be light, and 
it was light, Gen. i. 3. 

In this eichortation to the due use of the 
word, the apostle continues the resemblance 
of that new birth he mentioned, chap. i. 

As new bom babes. ] Be not satisfied with 
yourselves till you find some evidence of this 
uew, this supematund life. I'here be de 
lights and cmnforts in this new life, in its 
lowest condition, that would persuade us to 
look after it if we knew them ; but as the 

£ 



u 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[CflTAF. tis 



nent cannot be made sensible of th ee ti con- 
sider theiefoie the end of it Better nerer to 
have been, than not to have been partaker of 
this new being : Except a man be 6om 
again, says our Saviour, he eannoi enter 
into the kingdom of Gody John iii. 3. 
Surely they that are not bom again, shall 
one day wish that they had never been bom. 
What a poor wretched thing is the life that 
ve have here ! a very heap of f<dlies and 
miseries : Now, if we would share in a 
happier being alter it, that life that ends 
not, it must begin here ; grace and glory is 
one and the same life, only with this diffe- 
rence, that the one is the beginning, and 
the other the perfection of it ; or if we do 
caU them two several lives, yet the one is 
the undoubted pledge of the other. It was 
a strange word for a heathen to say, that 
the day of death we fear so^ mtemi natalis 
etty is the birth-dag of eternity. Thus it 
is indeed, to those that are here bom again ; 
this newxbirth of grace, is the sure earnest 
and pledge of that birth-day of g^ory. Why 
do we not do then labour to make that certain 
by the former ? Is it not a fearful thing to 
spend our days in vanity, and then lie down 
in darkness and sorrow for ever ; to disre- 
gard the life of our soul, while we may and 
should be provident fbr it, and then, when it 
is going out, ay. Quo nune abibie $ Whi- 
ther art thou going, O my soul ? 

But this new lift puts us out of the danget 
and fear of that eternal death: We are 
passed from death to life, says St. John, 
71 John iii. 14,) speaking of ^ose that are 
bom again | and being passed, there is no 
repassing, no going back from this Ufe to 
death again. 

This new birth is the same that St. John 
caBa the^r«/ reettrrectUmy and pronounces 
them blessed that partake of it : Blessed are 
they that have part in the first resurrection, 
the second death shall have no power over 
them. Rev. xx. 6. 

The weak beginnings of grace in com- 
parison of further stxength atttdnable even in 
this life, are sometimes expressed as the i&. 
fency of it ; and so believers ought not to 
continue infents, and if they do, it is rfr* 

r^vable in them, as we see Eph. iv. 14 ; 
Cor. ii. 2, xiv. 20, and Heb. v. 12. 
Though the apostle writes to new converts, 
and so may possibly imply the tenderness of 
their beginnings of grace, yet I cooceive that 
inffmcy is here taken in such a sense aa 
agreea to a Christian in the whole course and 
best estate of his spiritual life here bdow ; 
and so likewise the milk here recoqomended 
is answenble to this sense of infency, and 
not to the former ; as it is in some of those 
places cited, where it means the easiest and 
fiivt principles of religion, and so is opposed 
to the higher mjrsteries of it, as to strong 
meat ; but here it signifies the whole word 



of God, and all its wholesome and sating 
truths, as the proper nourishment of the 
diildren of Ood': And so the apostle*s words 
are a standing exhortation for all Quia, 
tians, of all degrees. 

And the whole estate and course of their 
spiritual life here, is called dieir infancy, 
not only as opposed to die corruption and 
wickedness of Uie old man, but l^ewise aa 
signifying the weakness and imperfection of 
it, at its best in this life, compared with the 
perfection of the life to come ; for the weak- 
est beginnings of grace axe by means so fer 
below the highest degree of it possible in 
this life, as that highest degree feHs short of 
die state of glory ; so that, if one measure 
of giaoe be called infency in respect of an- 
otiier, much move is all grace infency in re- 
elect of glory. And sure as fer duration, 
the time of our present life is fer less to 
eternity than the tima of our natural infency 
is to the rest of our life ; so that we may be 
still called but new or lately bam* Our 
best pace and strongest walldiig in obedience 
here, is but as the stepping of children when 
they begin to go by hold, in comparison of 
the peifect obedience in glory, when we shall 
follow the Lamb wheresoever he goes. Rev. 
xiv. 4. AU our knowle^ hoe is but as 
the ignorance of infiuits, uid all our expiea* 
sioDs of God, and of his pcaisca, but as the 
first stammerings of children, in conqiarison 
of the knowledge we shall have of them 
heiesfter, when we shall know as we are 
known, 1 Cor. xiii. 12, and of these peaisea 
we shall then ^fo him, when that new song 
shall be taught us. A child hadi in it a rea- 
sonable soul, and yet by the indisposednesa of 
the body, and abundance of moisture, it la 
so bound up, that its diffiassnce £rom the 
beasts, and partaking of a rational life, la 
not BO apparent as afterwards : and Aua 
the spiritual life that is feom above inlbsed 
into a Christian, thou^ it doth act and 
work in some degree, yet it is so clogged 
with natural coDuption, still remaining in 
him, that the excellency of it is much cloud- 
ed and obscured ; but in the life to come, it 
shall have nodiing at aU incumbering and 
indisposing it. And this is the apostle 
Paul's doctrine, 1 Gov. xiii. 9, 10, II, 12. 

And this is the wonder of divine giaee, 
that brings so small a beginning to that 
height of perfection that we are not able to 
conceive of; that a little spark of true graoe> 
that is not only indiscernible to others but 
often to a Christian himself, yet shoiud be 
the beginning of that condition wherein he 
shall shine brighter than the sun in the fir- 
mament. The difference is great in our na- 
tural life ; in some persons especially, that 
they that in infency were so feeble, and wrapt 
up as others in siraddllng-dothes, yet aftcfw 
wards came to excel in wisdom and in die 
knowledge of sciences^ or to be commandei* 



1,2.1 



TH£ FIRST BPI8TLB OF F£T£R. 



« 



H fftad aitniety or to be kfaigi : But ihe 
dSiteiioe !■ ftr gmler and mote edminble 
betwUt tiie weakecBs of these nai^ bom bab^i, 
Ae small begitnings of gncoy and em after 
y e ifeii ic n, &t fjUneis of knMrkdge that we 
look for, and that erown of immonadity that 
all tbejr an born to that ats b&m tf God. 

But as in the fiu^s or aotionB of Ridie 
diiUrefiy chaowten and ptesages of their 
after greatness have appeared, as m singular 
fauniy in Moses* fiBce^ as tliej write of hhn, 
and as Cjrrus waa made king among the shepi* 
hcnU* children with whom he was brought 
vp^ Ac ao also certainly in tbees children of 
Bodf there be some ehaxaeters and eTldebces 
that they axe born fbr Heaven by their new 
both. That bottness and meekness, that 
paticaoce and ftebh, that shine in the actions 
sod suffieringa of die saints, are characters of 
their Father's tan^ge, and shofw their high 
and finctdl dieir glory to come; 
g^oiy as doth not only surpaas Che 
#oild*8 thonghts, but the thoughts ef the 
flhildreB of Bad themselves, I John iii* S. 

Koer, tiiat the cUUien of God may grow 
by the word of Ood, the apoetle requires 
tfaeae two tilings of them: I. The inno- 
OBiiey ef ehildren ; 2, The appetite of diil* 
dren. For this, aa I conceive, iardative not 
mtf to the desking the mUk of ihs wofd, 
bst todiofomicrverae, the putting qg^nuUice t 
m die apoade Fanl ezhorta, I Cor. ziv. 20. 
Am conaermn^ mulice, be ye ^Udren* 

Isty The mnocenep of children ia requir- 
ed. Wherefore laytng^ aebte, &c This 
imports that we are naturally prepossessed 
widi these evils, and tbeiefbre are exhorted 
to put them off. Our hearts are by natore 
but cages of those nndean birds, 
hypocrisy, &e. The apostle 
some of these evils, and 
odicr of them } but they are in* 
separable, all one gannent, and all compre- 
haded under that one word, £ph. iv. 22f, 
the old euM, which tlie qposde there exhorts 
to put off: And hoe it is pnased as a ne- 
oeassiy evidence of dieir new birth, and ftir* 
thcnnce ef their spiritual growth, diat these 
basehabka be thrown away; ragged fildiy 
habits, mbe s e enii ng the diildren of Gbd; 
they see the pnopcar maiks of an uisenewed 
mfasd, the veiy cfasracteis ef die children of 
Sbtan, ftr they are his image. He hath Us 
nsmea flem enmity, and envy, and slaiider* 
ing^, and he ia that grand hypocrite and de^ 
OBKvcr that can trtmj^form himself imfe ens 
am§a cfHffhtf 2 Cer. xL 14. 

So^ on the oontmry, tiie Spfcfit of God 
dial dwcfls in hia children is die Spirit at 
meekness, and leve, and truth. Tfaiit dove* 
like Spirit that dcsoended on our Saviour, is 
fisB him communicated to beUevees. It ia 
tho groseeat impudence to pretend to be 
Gfarfsdana, and yet to entertain hatred and 
earyinga, upon whatsoever occaeioD; for 



there it nothing mtte reeenimehM to diem 
by our Saviours own doctdne, smd mote imt. 
presied upon their hearts by his Spirit, tbaa 
love. KmMt» may be taken generally, but t 
conceive It is thai which we pttrdculatly caH 
nudice. 

Maliee aAd envy are but two bianchea 
growing out of the same bitter toot ; self-love 
and evil-speakings are the fruit they bear* 
Malice is properly die proettflnff or wisbin|; 
anotlier^s evil; envy, the repining at hia 
good; and these vent themselves by evil 
speaking. This infemid fire within amokesj 
and fla&es out by the tongue, which St. 
Jamee says if set tmfke ofhellf ill. 6, antf 
fires idl about it ; censuring the acfiobs of 
diose they hate or envy, aggtavadng thel4 
ihilinge, and detracting' from dieir virtues^ 
taking all things by the left ear; fi»r, ae 
Epictetus says, Every tking hath tteo han^ 
dies. The art of taking things by the better 
side, which charity always doth, would save 
much of diose janglings and heart^buzninge 
that so abound in die world. But Ibtty and 
perverseness possess the hearts of the moat, 
and diereftnee their disooorses are usually the 
vent of those ; ftr out of the abundanee qf 
the heart the m^uth must epeaky Matdi. 
xii. 84. The unsavouiy breaths of men 
argue theit inward oormpdon. Where shall 
a matt come, almoet, hito socledes, but hilf 
ears shall be beaten with die unplmant noise 
(sure it ia so to a Christian mind) of one de- 
tracting and disparaging another : And yet 
this ia extreme baseness, and the pracdce 
only of fidse oonnteiftfit goodness, to make 
up our own esteem out of the ruins of tho 
good name of others; real virtue ndthef 
needs nor can endure duit dishonest shift: 
It can subsist of itsdf, and therefore in* 
genaoudy commendaand adcDowledges what; 
good is in othen, and loves to hear it ac* 
knowledged ; and neither readily speaks nor 
liean evU of any, but rather, where duty and 
conscience requite not discovery, casts a veil 
upon nien*8 fidlings to hide diem : this i» 
the true temper of the children of God* 

These evils of maUoef and ewoy, and evU* 
speakings, and such like, are not to be die-* 
sembled by us in ourselves, and eonveyedl 
under betler appeaiacnces, but to be caet awHy ; 
not to be covered, but put offf and t her e ft w 
that whl^ ia the upper gnment and deak 
at an other evils, die apoede hen ce«Biaad» 
to east fff that too^ namely, hgpoorieg. 

What avails it to wear this mask ? A 
man may Indeed in the sight of men act hi» 
part handsomely under it, and paas so for »' 
time; but know we not diait there ia an eye 
tliat sees through it ; and a hand, that, i^ 
we will not put off this mask, will pull it ctf 
to our shame either here in the sight of mei^ 
or if we should escape all our hft^ and go 
fair off the stage under it, yet that there i» 
a day appelated wherein all bypoerites ihdl 



A COMMENTARV UPON 



[CBAP. It. 



be nnveile^ and appear what they are indeed 
before men and angela ? It is a poor thing 
to be approved and applauded bj men, while 
God condemns, to whose sentence all men 
must stand or falL Oh ! seek to be ap- 
proved and justified by Him^ and then who 
shall condemn $ Kom. viii. 34. It is no 
matter who do. How easily may we bear 
the mistakes and dislikes of all the world, if 
He declare himself well-pleased with us 1 
II is a small thing for me to be judged qf 
fnan, or man's day ; he thai judgeth me is 
the Lordy saith the apostle, 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4. 

But these evils are here particularly to be 
put off, as contrary to the right and profit- 
able receiving of the word of Ood ; for this 
part of the exhortation [laj^ng aside'[ looks 
to that which follows [desire], and is espe- 
cially so to be considered. 

There is this double task in religion. 
When a man enters to it, he is not only to 
be taught true wisdom, but he is withal, yea, 
first of all, to be untaught the errors and 
wickedness that are deep-rooted in his mind, 
which he hath not only learned by the cor- 
rupt conversation of the world, but brought 
the seeds of them into the world with him. 
They do Indeed improve and grow by the 
ftvour of that example that is round about a 
man ; but they are originally in our nature 
as it is now ; they are connatural to us, be- 
sides continual custom, which is another 
nature. There is none comes to the school 
of Christ suiting the philosopher*s word, tit 
tabula rasa, as blank paper, to receive his 
doctrine ; but on the contrary, all scribbled 
and blurred with such base habits as these, 
malice, hypocrisy, envy, &c. 

Therefore the first work is to rase out these, 
to deanae and purify the heart from these 
blots, these foul characters, that it may re- 
ceive the impression of the image of Ood. 
And because it is the word of Ood that both 
begins and advances this woric, and perfects 
the lineaments of that divine image on the 
soul; therefore to the receiving this word 
aright, and this proper effect by it, the con- 
fittroing of the soul to Jesus Christ, which 
is the true growth of the spiritual life, this 
is pre-requiied, That the hearts of them that 
hear it be purged of these, and such like 
impurities, malice, hypocrisy, &c. 

These are so opposite to the profitable re- 
ceiving of the word of God, that while they 
possess and rule the soul, it cannot all em- 
btace these divine truths ; while it is filled 
with such guests, there is no room to enter, 
tain the word. 

They cannot dwell together by reason of 
their contrary nature, the word will not mix 
with these. The saving mixture of the word 
of Ood in the soul, is that the apostle speaks 
of ; and he gives the want of it as the cauite 
ot' unprofitable hearing the word, Heb. iv. 2, 
moi mijHng ii with faith ; for by that the word 



is concocted into the nourishment of the lift 
of grace, united to the soul, and mixed with 
it, by hieing mixed with iUth, as the apoa* 
tle^s expression imparts : That is die pro* 
per mixture it requires, but with these 
qualities here mendoned it will not mix; 
there is a natural antipathy between them, 
as strong as in those things in natore that 
cannot be brought by any means to agree and 
mingle together. 

Can there be any thing moR contr a ry than 
the good word of God, as the apostle calls it, 
and those evil speakings $ than the word that 
is of such excellent sweetness, and the bitter 
words of a malignant tongue ? than the word 
of life, and words /«// qf deadly poison 9 in 
so slanders and defiunings of our brethren are. 
And is not all malice and envy most oppo- 
site to the word, that is the message cXpeaee 
and l&oe 9 How can the gall of maUee and 
this milk of the word agree ? Hypocrisy 
and guile stand in direct opposition to the 
name of this word that ia called the word t^f 
truth ; and here the very words shew this 
contrariety, sincere milk and a double «n- 
sineere mind. 

These two are necessary oonditions of good 
nourishment : 1st, That the fi>od be good 
and wholesome ; 2dly, That the inward con* 
stxtution of them that use it be so too. And 
if this fail, the other profits not. This sin- 
cere milk is the only proper nourishment of 
spiritual life, and there is no defect nor un- 
due quality in it ; but. the greatest part of 
hearers are inwardly unwholesome, diseased 
with the evils here mentioned, and others of 
the like nature ; and therefore, either have no 
kind of appetite at all, ' but rather feed upon 
such trash as suits with their distemper, as 
some kind of diseases incline those that have 
them to eat coals or lime, &c. ; or if they be 
anywise desirous to hear the word, and seem 
to feed on it, yet the noxious humours that 
abound in them, make it altogether nnprafita- 
ble, and they are not nourished by it. As 
this evil of mslice and envying, so ordinary 
among men, (and which is most strange, 
among Christians,) like an overflowing of the 
gall, possesses their whole minds ; so, they 
not oiily fail of being nourished by the word 
they hear, but are the worse for it, their die- 
ease is fbd by it, as an unwholesome stomach 
turns the best meat it receives into that bad 
humour that abounds in it. Do not they 
thus, that observe what the word says, that 
they may be the better enabled to discover 
the failings of others, and speak malidoDaly 
and uncharitably of them, and vent themselvea, 
as is too common, This word met well with 
such a one*s fault, and this with another's 9 
Is not this to feed these diseases of malice^ 
envy, and evil'-speakings, with this purs 
milk, and make them grow, instead of grow- 
ing by it ourselves in grace and holiness ? 

Thus likewise the hypocrite turns all that 



vcm. 1,3.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



he he$n of this word, not to the inward re- 
iio>fatifln of hit mind, and redivuing what 
la ainiM then, hut only to the composing of 
Ids oatwaxd caniage, and to enable him to 
act his past better ; to be more cunning in 
his own faculty, a more refined and expert 
hypocrite ; not to grow more a Christian in- 
deed, but more sudi in appearance only, and 
in the opinion of othcn. 

Therefore it is a very needftil advertise- 
ment, seeing these evils are so natural to men, 
and so contrary to the nature of the word <k 
Ood, that they be purged out, to the end it 
may be profitably received. A very lilie ex- 
hotatioii to this hath the apostle St. Janies, 
«nd some of tlie same words, but in another 
metaphor, Jam. L 21, Wherefore lap apart 
aO/SUhimess and superftuity qfnaughHneea, 
and receive with meekness the ingrafted 
word. He compares the word to a plant of 
ezoelleat virtuei, the very tree of life, the word 
that is able to save your soub : But the only 
soil wherein it win grow is a heart fiill of 
meekness, a heart that is purged ef those 
luxuriant weeds that grow so ranlc in it by 
nature ; they must be plucked up and thrown 
out, to make place for tlds word. . 

And ihen is such a necessity of this, that 
the most approved teachers of wisdom, in a 
Jiuman way, have required this of their 
^dkolars, that to the end their minds might 
be capable of it, they ihould be purified firam 
▼ice and widcedness; for this reason the 
philosopher judges young men unfit hearers 
4if moBsl philosophy, because of the abound- 
ing and nntamedness of their passions, grant- 
ing, that if those were composed and ordered, 
^ey might be admitted : And it was So- 
crates' custom, when any asked him a ques- 
tion to be infiirmed by him, befine he would 
answer them, he asked them concerning their 
own qualities and course of Ufe. 

Now, if men require a cahn and purified 
disposition of mind to make it capable of 
thdr doctrine, how much more is it suitable 
and necessary finr learning the doctrine of Ood, 
and those deep mysteries that his word opens 
np ! It is wdl expressed in that apocryphal 
Book of Wisdom, « That froward thoughts 
oeparste from God, and wisdom enters not 
into a malicious soul :" No indeed, that is 
a very unfit dwelling for it ; and even a hea- 
tiien could say, ** The mind that is impure is 
not capable of Ood, and divine things,'* 
(Seoeca). Therefore we see the strain of that 
book of Proverbs that speaks so much of this 
wisdom : it requires in the first chapter, that 
they that would hear it, do retire themselves 
fiom an ungodly customs and practices. 
And indeed, how can that soul apprehend 
spiritual things, that is not in some measure 
refined fiom the love of sin, that abuses and 
bcmires the minds of men, and makes them 
unable to arise >o heavenly thoughts ? Bless- 
ed 0re the pure in heart, for thef ^hall see 



(Sod, says our Saviour, (Mat. v. 8^ ; not only 
shaU they see him perfectly hereaner, but, as 
they can receive him, be wffl impart and make 
himself known unto them here : so John xiv. 
23, If any man love me, he will keep mp 
words : and my Father will love him, awi 
we will come unto him, and make our abode 
with him. This is ^at which makes the 
word obscure, namely, the filthy mists with- 
in. Whereas, on the contrary, he wiU in just 
judgment hide himself, and the saving truth 
of his word, horn those that entertain and 
delight in sin : The very sins wherein they 
delight shaU obscure and darken the light at 
the gospel to them, that though it shine dear 
as the sun at noon-day, they shall be as those 
that Uve in a dungeon, they shaU not diacem 
it. 

And as they receive no benefit by the word 
that have these evils here mentioned reign- 
ing and in fuU strength in them, so they £at 
are indeed bom again, the more they retain 
of these, the less shaU they find the Influence 
and profit of the word ; for this exhortation ' 
concerns them. They may possibly, some of 
them, have a great remainder of these corrup- 
tions unmortified ; therefore are they exhort- 
ed to lay aside entirdy these evils, all malice, 
all hypocrisy, &c. : dse, though they hear 
the word often, yet they win be in a spiritual 
atro|Ay ; they win eat much, but grow no- 
thing by it, they win find no increase of grace 
and spiritual strength. 

Would we know the main cause of our 
fruitless hearing of the yrord, here it is ; men 
bring not meek and guileless spirits to it, 
not minds emptied and purified to receive it, 
but stuffed with malice, and hypocrisy, and 
pride, and other such evils: And where 
should the word enter, when an is so taken 
up ? And if it did enter, how should it 
prosper amongst so many enemies, or at aU 
abide amongst them ? Either they wiU turn 
it out again, or choke and kin the power of 
it. We think reUgion and our own lusts, 
and secret heart-idols, should agree toge- 
ther, because we would have it so ; but this 
is not possible ; therefore labour to entertain 
the word of truth in the love of it, and lodge 
the mystery of faith in a pure conscience, as 
the apostle St. Paul speaks, 1 Tim. iii. 9. 
Join those together with David, ^PsaL cxix. 
113, / hate vain thoughts, but thy law do 
I love. And as here our apostle. Lay aside 
all malice, and hypocrisy, and envy, and 
evUspeakings, and so receive the word, or 
dse look fbr no benefit by it here, nor for sal- 
vation by it hereafter ; but be prevailed upon 
to cast out an impurity, and give your whole 
heart to it, so to desire it that you may grow, 
and then as you desire you shall grow by it, 

2dly, The apostle speaks of die appetiie 
of children, desire the sincere milk, &u 
Every real bdiever hath received a life from 
heaven, far more excelling our natural life* 



70 



A COWMFNTABY UPON 



[CHA». If. 



tto tliat excdU the Ufe of the beeeta. And 
this life h^ itf owxi peculiAr deeiref aod 
deUghtSy that axe the proper actinge and 
the certun chaiacten aod evidence of Us 
^JnoDgit otheif^ this i» one, and a maio 
one, answerable to the like desize in natuxal 
life, nanxelj) a desire of fbod ; and because 
it ia here sdU imperfeit, therelbre the natunl 
eoA of this, is not only nourishment but 
growth, as it is here expressed. 

The fincere mUk of the uford,] The life 
«f grace is the jvoper life of a reasonable 
fouf, and without it the soul is dead, as the 
body is without the soul : So that this may 
be truly rendered, retuonable milky a« some 
iread it, but certainly that reasonable milk 
is t^e word of Ck>d, the milk qfthe uiord. 

It was before called the immortal seed, 
lOtd hei<e it is the milk, of those that are bom 
again : and thua it is very agreeable nourish- 
ment to that spiritual life, according to their 
saying, lisdem alimur ex quibue wnetemue* 
As the milk that infimts draw from tb« 
breast is most connatural food to them, being 
of that same substance that nourished them 
in the womb: so when they are brought 
forth, that food follows them as it were foi a 
supply, in that way that ia provided in oa* 
ture for it ; by certain veina it asceada into 
the breasu, and is there fitted Ibr tliem, and 
they are by nature directed to find it theie> 
Thus, as a Christian begina ta live by the 
power of the word, he U by the nature of 
that spiritual life directed to that same word 
as its nourishment. To foUow the resen- 
blance any farther in the qualities of milk, 
after the monkish way, that runa itself out of 
breath in allegory, I conceive, is neither «o» 
Ud nor proflt^le ; and to spMk finely, the 
curious searching of the similitude in other 
qualities of milk, seems to wrong the quality 
here given it by the apostle, in which it is 
SO- yfSx resembled by milk, aamelys the sis»- 
ple puzeness and sincerity of tlie weed \ be- 
sides^ the pressing of compaiiAons of thia 
kind too fiur, proves often 90 constsainad ere 
they have done with it, that by toa much 
drawipg, they bring £brib blood instead of 
milk,. 

Pure and tmmixedy aa milk dmwa im« 
mediately from the breast ; the pure word 
of God without the mixture not only of en* 
ror, bat of all other composition of vain an» 
profitable Bubtilties, or affiicted hnma^ elo* 
quence, such as become not the majesty and 
gravity of Ood*s word. If an^ man speak, 
says our apostle, let hiik speak as the oro- 
cles of God, 1 Pet. Ijv. 11. Light oonfMUbi, 
and flowers of rhetoric, wrong the word mote 
than they can please the heaoers ; tibe weeds 
among die com make it look gay, but it 
were idl the better they were not amongst it. 
Nor can those mixtures be pleaaing to any 
but carnal minds. They that are indeed 
the children of Ood (aa in&ntff. who like 



their brsaat-mllk beat pure) do love the word 
best BO, and whenaoever they tad it ao^ thef 
idiah it well ; whistai natural men 
love spiritual diings for dkcmsehna, 
not the word fer ita own eveetBesa; bat 
would have it lauced with aadi eeooslta aa 
possibly spoil the aioiplicity of it : er at die 
best kvve to hear it Ibr the wit and learning, 
wHich, without any wvoagAil miztuie ef it, 
they find in one delivering it moee tfian 
another; but the natural and gnmiiie ap- 
petite of the children of Gad, ia to the weed, 
fi>r itself; and only aamilk, sinoeremiik: 
And where they find it so, finm whomaoevw, 
or in what way soever ddiwed unlo thcBa, 
they feed upon it with deUgbt : Beftxe eon. 
version^ wit or eloquenoe may dimw a man ta 
the word, and peasibly piore a hafpy bait 
to catch him, aa St. Augustine leporta ef 
fads hearing St. Ambrose ; but when once he 
19 bem agdhi, then it is the mUi^ itself he de- 
sires, in itaelf. 

J>e»ire the simeewe aitft.] Net only hear 
it because \k ft« your oistem, but desiie k 
because k iayour fiiod :. and it b, 1. A n^ 
twtai dMke, (aa the inimft*a of milk,) net 
upon any exteanal respeet or induoemeBt^ 
bMl ftOBl an inward principle, and' bent of 
nature 1 and beeanaenatuml, 9. ewmes^ not 
a eold indiArent wiBing, that caiea net vha- 
tber k obtain or no, but a vehemem deeln^ 
as the ward signifies, and the reetmbhmec 
eleariy bears t As a ohild that wUl not be 
siilUd dU k have the bseaat ; fOn it wlntf 
yon will, silver, gold, or jeweb, it regards 
them not, theae anawer net its desire, smk 
«hi« must be anawoed. Thna Dwvid, Pkak 
cxsx. iM!» " My soul breaketh foe the l)ong^ 
ing k hath to diy judgmenU;*' ae a ehlld 
^e to break its heart with drying for 
of the breast. And, agun, becanae it is 
tural, it is, 3. cansiani t dM inAnt is 
cloyed nor wesiied widt daUy fcedtng on the 
breMt, but deaima it evny day, aslfk had 
never iMd it befbro ; thua the ddld ef Ood 
hath an unchangeable appetite fbr the word, 
it is daily new to hiai, he finda sdB ftesh 
delight in it ; thua David, as belbie dted, 
" My soul breaketh fbr the longing it hath 
fiyr dty judgments, at all timea:** And 
then Psfll. i. thia law waa his me dlH i H on dSsy 
and niffhi. Whexeaa, a natural man in 
easily surfbitcd of it, and die very eomrnon* 
neas and eheapnesa of k makes k eontemp. 
tible to him. And thia ia ovi case ; that 
wherein we should wander at Ood*a singokv 
goodness to us, and theiefbR prise hts word 
die more, even diat very Akig makes us de- 
spise it t Whereaa ethers, our bi edi icn , heve 
bought diis milk with their own blood, we 
have k upon the easiest terms that can he 
wished, (ndy fbr the deeiring, wkhout the 
haaard of bleeding ibr it, and soarae need we 
to be at the pains of sweating ftv it. 

Thai we may grow thereby*] Thia ia 



vsm. 1, S.] 



TH£ FIR8T EPISTLE OF PETER. 



71 



not omly the end lor vliich Ood hath provid- 
ed hii chttdicfi with the word, and mcves 
ihan to deslie it ; hut which they ate to iv. 
•Old in ttiek desire and uae of i^ and, an- 
ftwerUile fo Qod^n pntpoee^ they aie there- 
hie to desire it, becanffe it is proper ihr this 
end, and that by it ^ey nay attttin tliis end, 
§9 ffmnff iherebp. And herein indeed these 
dkildrai differ from infants, in the natamd 
Bft^ that are directed to theit fix>d, beside 
ihefr knowledge, and without intentioft of its 
«ad; hot this rational milk is to he de- 
aired by the children of Ood in a rational 
way, knowing and intending its end, having 
the nae of Batnnl reason renewed, and sanc- 
tified by supekHlatural gr«w;e. 

Now, the ted of (his desire is growth. 
Dmire the word^ not that yoa may o^ hear 
it ; that is to ftll very ftr short of its true 
e»! ; yea, it is to take the beginning of the 
work Ibr the end of it : The ear is indeed 
tile inouth of the mind, by which it receives 
tile wdrd, sJB Elihu compares it, (Job xxxiv. 
9 ;) but meat that goes no Anther than the 
raoteth, yon know, cannot nourish. Neither 
m^ht this desire of the word to beonly tosatis- 
fya custom ; it werean exceeding fol^ to mtke 
m superficial a tiling tiie end of so setfions a 
wmk. Again, to liear it only to stop the 
montii <»f conscience, duM it may not cla- 
iBDvr more fer the gross impiety of oisntemn- 
Ing it ; this is not to hesr it out of desire, 
but oat of ibar ; to desire it only for nme 
present pleasure and delight that a man may 
find in it, is not the due use and end of it : 
that tiiere is delight in it, may help to com- 
mend it to Aose tiiai find it so, azid so be a 
mean to advance the end ; but the end it is 
boC. 'to seek no more but a present delight, 
that vamsheth with the sound of the words, 
that die in the air, is hot to desirt the word 
as meat, but as music, as God tells the pro- 
phet Eaekiel of his people, Esek. xxxiii. 
82, And hy thou mi nnto ^hem as a very 
kwefy song of one that hath a pleasant 
police, and eon plop well upon an insirn* 
ment ; for they hear thy words, hut they 
do them not. To desire tiie word far tiie 
of knowledge, altliottgh tiiis is ne- 
and commendable, and lieing rightiy 
qualified, is a part of spiritual accretion, yet 
ttike it as going no ftorther, it is not the true 
end of tlie wovd ; nor the venting of that 
k n owl e d ge in speech and frnpient discourse 
^the word, and the divine truths that are in 
ft ; which, where it is governed with Ghris- 
titti prudeiice, is not to be despised, but com- 
mended r yet certahdy ^e highest know- 
ledge, and the most fireqiient and skilftd 
tpe^rii^ of the word, severed fiom the 
growth here mentioned, misses the true end 
af the word. If any one's head or tongue 
diould grow apace, and aB the rest stand at 
a stay, it would certainly make him a mon- 
ster ; and they are no other, that are know- 



ing and discoursfaig Cluistians, aayi grow 
d^y in tiiat, but not at all in holiness of 
heart and life, which is the proper growth 
of the children of God. Opposite to their 
case is Epictetus* companson of the riieep ; 
they return not what they eat in grass, but 
in wool. David, in that cxixth Psalm, tiiat 
is wholly spent upon this subject, the excel- 
leney and use of the word of God, expresseth, 
ver. 16, 16, 24, his delight in it, his earnest 
desire to be farther taught, and to know 
mote of it $ his readiness to speak of it, ver. 
13, 27 I But withal, you know he joins his 
desire and care to keep it, to hide it in 
his hearty &c PnL cxix. ver. 6, 11 s To 
make it the man qf his counsel, to be as 
the whole assembly (>f his ptlvy counseBorB, 
and to be ruled and guided by it; and with 
him, to use it so, is indeed to grow by it. 

If we knew what this spiritnal lUb is, and 
wherein the nature of it consists, we may 
easily know what is the growth of it. Wbsa 
holiness increases, wlien the sanctifying 
graces of the Spirit grow stronger In the 
soul, and consequently act more strongly in 
the Bib of a GhristiaD, tiieb he grows spixi* 
taaUy. 

And as the word is the mean of begetting 
this spiritual life, so likewise of its incrraseb 

1. If we consider thb nature of the word 
in general) that it is spiritual and divine^ 
treats of the highest AiingS, and (hereftire 
liath in it a fitness to elevate men's minds 
ftom the earth, and to assimilate to itself such 
as are often conversant with it, as aU kind 
of doctrine readily doth< to those that are 
much in it, and apply their minds to study 
it. Doubtiess such kind of things as ale 
fiequent wiA men, have an infiuence iipoh 
the dispositions of their souls. The gospel 
is called liffht, and the children of God sat 
likewise called Hpht, as being translbnned 
into its nature, and this tiiey are stfll the 
more, by move hearing of it, and so diey 
grow. 

d. If we look more particularly into the 
strain and tenor of the word, it is most fit 
fiir increasing the graces of the Spirit in a 
Christian ; fbf there be in it particular truths 
relative to them, that are apt to exdte them^ 
and set ihem on work, and so to make them 
grow, as aU habits do, by acting : it doth 
(as the apostle's word may be translated) 
stir up the sparks, and blow them into a 
grtstbet flame, make them bum clearer and 
hotter. This it doth botii by particular ex- 
hortation to the study and exercise of those 
graces, sometimes pressing one, and some, 
times another ; and by right representing to 
them their objects. The word feeds fidth, 
by setting befbre it the free gnueo of God, his 
rich promises, and his power and truth to 
peifimn them all ; shewing it the strength of 
the new covenant, not depending upon it, 
but holdiog in Christy in whom afi the pro* 



78 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[cAaf. lf« 



miMi of God aie Yem aod Amen; and 
drawing faith still to rest more entirely up- 
on His righieou9nes8» It feeds repentance, 
by making the vileness and deformity of sin 
daily more dear and visible ; still as more of 
the word hath admission into the soul^ ihe 
more it hates sin, sin being the more dis- 
covered and the better known in its own na- 
tive colour: As the more light is in a 
house, the more any thing in it that is un- 
deanly or deformed is seen and disliked. 

Likewise it increaseth love to Ood, by open- 
ing up still more and more of his infinite excel- 
lency and loveliness : And as it borrows the 
resemblance of the vilest things in nature to 
express the foulness and hatefulness of sin ; 
so all the beauty and dignities that are in all 
the creatures, are called together in the word, 
to give us some smaU scantling of that un- 
created beauty, that alone deserves to be 
loved. Thus might instances be given in 
all other graces. 

But aUive all other considerations, in this 
it is observable, that the word is the increaser 
of grace, in that it holds forth Jesus Christ 
to oar view to look upon, not only as the 
peifect pattern, but as the full fountain, of 
aU grace, from whose fulness we 'all receive. 
The contemplating of him as the perfect 
image of God, and then drawing from him as 
having in himself a treasure fer us, these give 
the smil more of that image, which is ^y 
qiiiitual growth. This ^e apostle ex- 
presseth excellently, 2 Cor. iii. uli, speaking 
of the ministry of the gospel, revealing 
Christ, that beholding in himf (as it is chqp. 
iv. ver. 6, in hi§ face,) the glory of the 
Lord^ we are changed into the tame image, 
from glofry to glory y as by the Spirit qf the 
Lord, Not only that we may take the copy 
of his graces, but have a share of them. 

There be many things might be said of 
this spiritual growth, but I will only add a 
few. 1 . In the judging of this growth, some 
conclude too rigidly against themselves, that 
they grow not by the word, because their 
growth is not sensible to them as they de- 
sire. 

But, I. This is known in aU things that 
grow, that growth is not discerned in motu, 
sed in terminoy not in the growing, but when 
they are grown. 2. Besides, odier things 
are to be considered in this ; although other 
graces seem not to advance, yet if thou grow- 
est more self-denying and humble, in the sense 
of thy slowness, all is not lost ; although the 
branches shoot not up so fest as thou wishest, 
yet if the root grow deeper, and festen more^ 
it is an useful growth ; he that is still leun- 
ing to be more in Jesus Christ, and less in 
himself, to have all his dependence and com* 
fert in Him, is doubtless a growing believer. 

S. On the other side, a &r greater number 
eondude wrong in their own fevour, imagin 



of those things we mentioned above, namdy^ 
more knowledge and more faculty of dim* 
coursing; if &ey find often some preaent 
stirrings of joy or sonow in hearing of the 
word ; if they refinrm their life, grow moce 
dvil and blameless, &c. Yet all these a&d 
many such things may be in a natural man, 
who notwithstanding grows not, fiir that ia 
impossible ; he is not in that state a subject 
capable of this growth ; for he is dead, he 
hath none of £is new life to which thia 
growth rdates.' Herod heard gladly, and 
obeyed many things, Madt vi. 20. 

Consider, then, what true delight we 
might have in this. You find a pleasure, 
when you see your children grow, when they 
begin to stand and walk, &c ; youlove weU 
to percdve your estate or your honour grow : 
but for the soul to be growing liker God, and 
nearer heaven, if we know it, is a pleasure 
fkr beyond them all : To find pride, eardiU- 
ness, and vanity abating, and feith, love, and 
spiritual-mindedness increasing; especially 
if we refiect, that this growth is not as our 
natural life, that is ofbn cut off before it 
attain fuU age, as we call it ; and if it attain 
that, fidls again to move downwards and 
decajTS, as the sun, being at its meridian, 
begins to decline again : But this life shall 
grow on in whomsoever it is, and come cer- 
tainly to its fulness ; af^ which there is no 
more need of this word, either for growth or 
nourishment; no death, no decay, no old 
age ; but perpetual youth, and a perpetual 
spring, ver atemum »* fulness qf joy in the 
presence qfGod, and everlasting pleaewres 
at his right hand, PsaL xvi. $UL 

Vbb. 3. If 10 tw ye have tasted that ths Lord fs 
gtadoui. 

Our natural desire of food arises prin- 
dpally from its necessity fer that end 
which nature seeks, the growth, or at least 
the nourishment, of our bodies ; but besidea, 
there is a present sweetness and pleasantness 
in the use of it, that serves to sharpen our 
desire, and is placed in nature for that pur- 
pose : Thus the children of God, in their 
spiritual life^ are naturally carried to desiie 
the means of their nourishment, and of their 
growth, being always here in a growing 
state; but withal, there is a q>iritual de» 
light and sweetness in that word, in that 
which it reveals concerning God, and that 
adds to their desire, stirs up their appetite 
towards it : the foimer is in the foregoing 
verse, the latter in this. Nature addressea 
the infant to the breast, but when it hath 
once tasted of it, that is a new superadded 
attractive^ and makes it desire after it the 
moxo earnestly. So here, 

The word is fuUy recommended to us by 
these two^ usefulness and pleasanmess, like 
milk (as it is compared here,) which is a 



ing that they do grow, if they gain in some I nourishing food, and withal sweet and do* 



3. 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



» 



li^dbl to lb* tMte ; by it we gioir, and in 
it we taite the gndoufliieM of God. Dsvid, 
in thot Pnlm tliat he dedicates whoUy to 
tbii tnbject, gives both tliese «■ the reason 
of his ^ipetite ; his love to it he expresses 
patbetically, PsaL czix. 97, O haw love I 
lAf fa«0 / and then he adds, ihat by it he 
flMW ntade wieer than his enemies, than hit 
ieaehers, and than the aneienU ; tangfat to 
lefiain from every evil way, taught by the 
Author of tliat word, the Lord hixxuelf : 
Thou liast taught me to grow wiser and 
waiiery and h<dier in thy ways ; and then, 
ver. 1^9 he adds this other reason, ffow 
eweet €tre thjf words unio my taste »• pea, 
eweeier than honey to my mouth ! 

We shaU speak, 1. Of the goodness or 
gradouncss of the Lotd $ 2. Of this taste ; 
and 3. Of the inference from both. 

1. We may consider the goodness of Ood. 
He is said to be graeioiusy or of a boon» 
talhl, kind disposition. The word, PsaL 
zzziv. 8, whence this is taken, is toby whidi 
signifies good. The Greek translator there 
Knder it by the word used here by our 
jostle. Both the words signify a benig- 
Bdqr and kindness of nature ; it is one of 
love's attributes, 1 Cor. ziii. 4, ^^^■M'lvmM, 
it is kind^ ever compassionate, and ready, as 
it can, to be helplul in straits and distresses, 
to fixget and pass by evil, and to do good ; 
and in the iargcst and most comprehensive 
sense must we take it here, and yet stiU 
speak and think infinitely below what His 
giwdness is. He is natunliy good, yea, 
goodness is his nature ; he is goodness and 
>ove itself » He that ioveth not, knoweth 
not God ; for God is hoe, I John iv. 8. 
Piinutivdy good, all goodness is derived 
from him, imd all that is in the creature 
comes forth from no other but that ocean ( 
and this gradoosneM is still larger than 
thcmaU. 

There is a common bounty of God, 
wherein he doth good to aO, and so the whole 
earth is full of his goodness, Psal. xxxiii, 
6. 3ttt the goodness that the Gospel is full 
of, the particular stream that runs in that 
channel, is his peculiar giadousness and love 
to his own children ; that by which they are 
first enlivened, and then refreshed and sus- 
tained, in their spiritual being. It is this 
that is here spoken of; he is gracious to 
them in freely fingiving their sans, and 
giving no less than Himself unto them ; he 
frees them from all evils, and fills them 
with an good, PsaL ciiL 3, 4, 6, He salis^ 
JSes thy mouth, and so it fbUows with good 
season, ver. 8, that he is mere\ful and 
fpraaous f and his gradousness ib dieve fur. 
ther expressed in his gentleness, and slow^ 
noes to anger, bearing yrith the frailties of 
his people, and pitying them as a father 
pitieth his children, ver. 8, 13, 14. 
. Ko friend is so kiod and friendly (as this 



word signifies,) and none so powerful; n 
present help in trouble, ready to be finmd { 
whereas oUiers may be fiir off, He is always 
at hand, and his presence is always com- 
fbirtable. 

They that know God, still find him a real 
useful good. Some things and persons are 
useful at one time^ and others at another, but 
God at all times. A well^umished table 
may please a man, while he hath health and 
appetite ; but offer it to him in the height of 
a fi^er, how unpleaaant it would be then 1 
Though never so richly decked, it is then 
not o^y useless, but hatefbl to him : Bat 
the kindness snd love of God is then as sea- 
lonable and reficeabing to him as in health, 
and possibly more ; he can-find sweetness in 
that, even on his sick-bed. The bitter 
choler sbounding in the mouth, in a fever, 
doth not disrelidh His sweetness ; it trans- 
cends and goes sbOve it Thus all earthly 
enjoyments have but aome time (as meats), 
when they are in season ; but the gradous- 
ness of Ghod is always sweet, the taste of that 
is never out of season. See how old age 
spoiU the relish of outward delights, in the 
example of BaniHai, 2 Sam. xix. 36. But 
it makes no( this distasteful; therefixe the 
Psalmist pnys, that when other comfints 
fiwsake him, and wear out, when they ebb 
from him, and leave him on the sand, this 
may not ; that still he may feed on the good- 
ness of God, Psal. Ixxi. 9, Cast me not 
off in old age, forsake me not when my 
strength faileih. It is the continual inAu« 
.ence of his graciousness that makes them 
still grow like cedars in Lebanon ; PsaL 
xdi. 14, 16, To bring forth fruit in old 
age, to be still fat and flourishing, to show 
that the Lord is upright, as is there added ; 
that he is, as the word imports, still like 
himself, and his goodness ever the same. 

FuU chests, or large possessions, may 
seem sweet to a man, till death presents it- 
self ; but then, as the prophet speaks of 
throwing away tJteir idols of silver and 
gold to the bats and moles, in the day ^f 
calamity, Isa. ii. 20,t hen he is fiwced 
to throw all he possesses away with dis- 
dain of it, and his fontaer folly in doting on 
it; then the kindness of friends and wife 
and children, can do nothing but increase 
his grief and their own : But then indeed is 
the love of God the good and abiding sweet- 
ness : And it best relisheth when idl other 
things are most unsavoury and uncomfbrtaUe. 
Qod is giadous, but it is God in Christ, 
otherwise we cannot find him so ; therefine 
this is here spcAen in particular of Jesus 
Christ (as it appears by that which fbllow- 
eth) through whom all the peculiar kindness 
snd love of God is conveyed to the soul, 
and can come no other way ; and the word 
here mentioned is the go^el, chsp. i. ver. 
ult, whereof Christ is the subject. Though 



14 



A COMMKNTAEY UPON 



[OBAV. it; 



God is merry and goodnoM (b Mnsclfy yet 
we caonot find nor apprehend him so to m 
but only looking dm>agh that mediumy die 
Mediatoe. 

That main point of the goodness of Ood 
in Ae gospel, that is so vireet to a hombled 
limier, the forgiveness of lins, ve l^now we 
cannot taste of, but in Christ, Eph* i. 7, In 
whom tee have redemption. And all the 
finrour that shines on ns, aU the fffUes tM 
fvceive U of His fulness ; all o«r acceptanee 
with God, taking into giafie and kindness 
agafai, is in him, vev. 6, He made tu ac- 
copied in the Beloved, His gnce sppeais 
in bothy as it is there expeessed, b«t it fs all 
in Christ. Let us theieibie never Wave Him 
ont in our desnes of tasting the graeiewiMB 
and love of God t For otherwise, we diaU 
bnt didionout Hisn, and dBBSppoint our* 
selves. 

The fiee grace of Ood win given to be 
tasted in the promdaes before the coming of 
Christ in the flesh ; but being accomplished 
in his coming, then waa the sweetneM of 
grace made more sensible ; then was it more 
fnlly broached, and let out to the elect 
world, when he was pierced on the cross, 
and his blood poured out for oar redempx 
tion. Thromfh those holes qf his wounds 
may we draw, and taste that the Lord is 
praeious, says St. Aagnstine. 

2.. We may consider the relisfa of the 
^sodness of the Lord, expiessed by the word 
imste^ There is a tasting of temporary be- 
lievers ipoke of, Heb. vi. 4. Their highest 
sense of spiritual things, (and it will be in 
some far higiier than we easily think), yet is 
but a taste, and is called so in comparison 
of die truer, fiiUer sense that true betievers 
have of the grace and goodness of Ood, 
which, eompaSred with temporary taste, is 
more than testing. The former is tasting, 
HdKr an imaginary taste than real ; but this 
is a true feeding on the gvaciousness of Ood, 
yet called but a taste in respect of the Ail- 
ncas to come; though it is more than a 
taste, as you disting^sh it ftom the hypo- 
crite^s sense, yet it is no moie but a taste, 
eempaied with the great marriage-ftast we 
Isok for. 

Jesus Christ being all m all unto the 
soul. Faith apprehending him, is all the 
spiritoal tenses : it is the eyo that beholds 
his matrices beaaty, and so kindles love in 
the soul, and can ^eak of him as having 
seen him, and taken particular notice <S* 
hfan, Cant. v. K). It is die ear that die* 
cems hi* voiee, Csnti ii. & It is foith that 
smells hio name poured forth as ointmeni, 
foith that touches hhoti, and dMaws virtue 
ftom him, and foith that tastes hhn, Cant. 
ii« 21, and he0e, If$^ have tasted, tie. 

Then must be, 1. A Arm believing the 
truth of the promises, wherein the foee grace 
o0 God is ezpiMted and exhibited to us. 9. 



A particulBr applieatlon or attnetion of dial 
grace to oaisdves, wideh is as the drawk»p 
those breasts of oonsolati&nj laa. hrrl. 11 ^ 
namely, die pionlBeB eeiitained in the Old 
and New Testament. S. There is a sense ef 
the sweetness of that gnu;e, being appBed ot 
drawn Into the soul, and that Is properly dds 
taste. No unrenewed men hath any of these 
in trndi, not the highest kind of tenporairy 
bdisver ; he cannot have so mnd» as a real 
lively assent to the general truth of die pro^ 
raises ; ibr had he that, the rest wouM fcA- 
low 9 bat as he cannot hiave die least of theae 
in truth, he mi^ have the counterfeit of 
them all, not only of assent but appKcadon, 
yea, and a iUw spirituel joy arising on it f 
and ail diese so dnrwn to the hfo, that fhey 
may resemble much the truth of them : And 
to give dear cbaraoteis of difforenee, is not 
so easy as most ima^ne ; bnt doubdess the 
true living ftkh of a Christian hath hi ift. 
self such a pardcular stamp, as brings with 
it its own evidence, when the sotd is clear, 
and the light ef God's foee shines upon it : 
Indeed, in the dark, vre cannot read, not 
distinguish one maik ftom another; but 
when a Christian hath light, to look npoitl 
the woik of Ood in his own soul, ahhougk 
he cannot make anodier sensible of that by 
which he knows it, yet he himself is aeoei^ 
tained, and can say coafidendy ift hfaxuNdf, 
This I know, diat this ftHh end taste of 
God I have, is true ; the seat of the Spirit 
of God is upon it ; and this is die reading 
of that new name in the white stone, ihed 
no man knows but he thai ha^ it, Rev. ii. 
17> There is In a true believer such a eon^ 
stant love to God, for himself, and cond* 
nual desire after him, simply for his own 
excellency and goodness, that "no other can 
have. On the other side, would an hypo* 
crite deal truly and impartiaDy by himself, 
he would readily fold out something that 
would discover him more or less- to himself; 
but the truth is, men are willing to deceive 
themselves, and dienoe arises the diiRcnlty. 

One man cannot make anodier sensible of 
the sweetness of divine grace ; he may speak 
to him of it veiy excellently, but all he noyt 
in that kind is an unknown language to a 
natural many^e heareth many good words, 
but he cannot tell what they mean. The 
natural man tastes not the things-of God, 
for they are spfrituaUy dieeemed, I Cor. ii. 
14k 

A spiritual man himsdf dodi not fblly 
conceive this sweetness that he tastes of ; it 
is an infinite goodness, and he hath but a 
taste of it : tlie peace of God is a main fruit 
of this his goodness ; it passeth att nnder^ 
standing, says die aposde, Phil. fv. 7> not 
only all natural understanding, as some 
modify it, Imt all understanding, even the 
supemattual understanding of those diat «i* 
joy it ; and as the godly man cannot con- 



1P1«. 3, 4. J 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PBTER. 



7» 



orive il illy M thftl vhich ke eoBMivei he 
cAimot eipraM it all» and that which he doth 
ei|iEien» tha okbbI mind CMnot eonceiTe of 
it by hit ezpresaion. 

B«t he that hath indeed tasted of hit 90od» 
BeM» O hov tMtdeee aie thoie things to 
hinty that (he world caUa sweet : Aa when 
foa have tasted somewhat that is very tweet, 
it dindlsbes other things aftei it : Theie^ 
§an 6H1 a Christian so easily eithet want, or 
iMe with disregaidy the delights of thisesztli. 
His heart is net upon dhem: For the delight 
diat Itt finds in QoA^ cairieth it unspcakahly 
away finm all the lest, and makes them in 
eoDipaiisoii seem sapless to his taste. 

Mtmm tasted of all tSie delieacies, die 
choicest dishes^, that aie in sadi esteem 
smeogst men, and not only tasted^ but ate 
htgfjij of them: and yet see how he goes 
ever them> to let vskmnr what they ate, and 
pMHS from one dish t» aaetho. This also 
is mmi99 and of the next, Thit aiso is 
ewn/y, uid so thzong^ aO, and ef all in 
^enend, All is vanUy and vsMtikm ^ spirii^ 
tmfteding on th» windy aa the word may be 



evfl ; and this engages a Christian to 
ftartlier desiie of the word. 

They are fimtaatieal deluding tastes, that 
drspw men from the written word, and midce 
them expect other revelatiens. This grad- 
OQsness it first eonveyed to us by the word ; 
thtn we taste it, and therefore there sdh we 
are to seelE it, to hang upon dioee breasts that 
esnsot be drawn dry ; there the love of God 
in durist streams fyrib In the several proml- 
ses; the lieait that deafes to the word of 
God, and ddigfats in it, cannot but find hi 
it daily new tastes of his goodness ; there it 
reads his love, snd hy that stirs up its own 
to him, and so grows, and lores every day 
moie &an the £mier, and thus is tending 
ftem tastes to fulness. It is but little we can 
recdvehere, some drops of joy that enter into 
us ; but there we shaH enter into joy, as ves- 
sds put hMo a sea of happiness. 

VxB. 4. To wbom oomJngv m unto a IfviiK itane, 
dbaHowed indeed of men, but dusen of Ood« and 



Vbe. &. Ye alfo, m lively ttooet, aie Iraflt op a 
gpidtual hou«e, an holy priesthood, to olfer ep 
mirituil Mcrilleet, aoceptside to God by J«us 



9L We eeme^ in the third place, to the 
ii^encrd, // 9s have tasted, Ac. then Aiy 
aside aU eia&e and guile^ and hppeerisies 
and emmsy and all evU speaMnfs, ver. 1 : 
For it looks back to the whole eakortaUon ,- 
sine if you have tasted of that kindness and 
Bweetnass of Ood in Christ, it wifl compose 
your spuits„ and conform them to him ; it 
willd^uae such a sweetness through your 
aoulsy Aat dieie will be no place ftr midice 
tmdguiie. These will be mrthing bat love 
and meekneas, snd smgieness ef heart : 
therefeae they diat h»ve bitter malidous 
spidts, endrace they have not tasted of Ae 
lore of Ood : aa the Lord is good, so they 
that taste it are made like him, £ph. iv. 92. 
Be ye kind one io anoihe¥, tender-hearted,, 
fatffieinff one another, even as God for 
ChrisTs sake hath forgiven you. 

Again, If ye have tasted^ and dien dedre 
meae, this is the truest sign of it ; he that is 
in a osnrinual hunger and thirst after this 
gradouancse of Ch>d, has sordy tasted of it. 
My soul mrsteih for God, (saith David, 
Psak zliL 2. ;) he had tasted beihre, ver. 4, 
be rem cm bess that he teeni to the house of 
God with the voiee tfjoy. 

This is that happy drcle wherein the soul 
moves ; the more they love it, the more diey 
shall taste oi this goodness ; and the more 
Ihey taste, the more they shall still love and 
dei^ it, 

But observe, if ye have tasted that the 
Losd ie geaeious, dien desire the miUt cf the 
word. This ia the sweemess of the Vford, 
that it hath in it the Lord's graciousness, 
gives ua the knowledge of his love ; diis they 
find in it, that have spiritud lift and senses, 
and those senses cxerdsed to discern good 



TsB spring of all the dignitiea of a Chris, 
tian, and dierefisre the great modve of dl 
hiaduties, is, fasa near rslation to Jesus Christ. 
Thence it is that the apostle makes that Ae 
gmat subject of Ida doctrine^ boA to repre- 
sent to his distressed brethren their dignity 
in that, and to press by it the necessary du- 
ties he cxliorti unto. Having spoke of thdr 
spiritud lift, and growth in Him, under the 
sesemldance of naturd life, he prosecutee it 
here, by another comparison very frequent in 
the seriptarss, and therefore mdEcs use in it 
ef some ef those passages of scripture, that 
were piopbeticd of Christ and Ids Church. 
Thongir there are here two different simifi- 
tudes, yet they have so near relation one to 
another, and meet so well in the same sub- 
ject, that he joins them together, and then 
illustrates them severally in the following 
verses : a temple and a priesthood, compar- 
ing tlie sdnts to both. The former in these 
words of this verse. 

We have in it, 1 . The nature of the build- 
ing ; 2. The materials of it ; 3. The struc- 
ture or way ef building it. 

1 . The nature ,- it h a spiritual huikUny. 
Time and place, we know, receiTcd dieir 
being from 6od, and He was eternally before 
both, and is therefbre st>'led by die Prophet, 
TAe high and lofty One that inhabiteth 
eternity, Isa. Ivii. 15 ; but having made the 
worid, he fiSs it, though not as contdned in 
it ; and so the whole frame of it is his palace, 
or temple ; but after a more specid manner, 
the higher and statelier part of it, the highest 
heaven ; therefbre it is called his holy fiaee, 
and the habitation of his holiness and glory t 
And on eardi, the houses of his public wor- 
ship are caDed his houses; espcciaHy the 



/6 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[CHAF. n; 



Jewiih temple in its time, having in it sndi 
a relative typical holinesa, which othen have 
tiot. But besides all these, and beyond them 
all in excellency, he hath a house wherein he 
dwells moKe peculiarly than in any of the rest, 
even more than in heaven, tiJcen for the 
place only, and that is this spirituai build- 
ing. And this is most suitable to the na- 
ture of Ood, as our Saviour says of the ne- 
oessary conformity of liis worship to liimself, 
God is a Spirit^ and ther^ore will be wot- 
shipped in spirU and in truth, John iv. 24. 
So it holds of his house, he must have a spi- 
ritual one, because he is a Spirit. So Ood*8 
temple is his people. 

And for this purpose chiefly did he make 
the worid, the heaven and the earth, — ^that 
in it he might raise this spiritual building 
for himself to dwell in for ever, to have a 
number of his reasonable creatures to ei^oy 
him, and glorify him in eternity ; and from 
eternity he knew what the dimensions, and 
frame, and materials of it should be. The 
continuance of this present world, as it now 
is, is but for the service of this woAi, like the 
soifiblding about it ; and therefore, when this 
spiritual building shall be fully completed, 
all the present frame of things in the world, 
and in the Church itself, shall be taken away 
and appear no more. 

This building is, as the particular design- 
tog of its materials will teach us, the whole 
inviHble ohuroh of God, and each good man 
is a stone of this building ; but as the na- 
ture of it is spiritual, it hath this privilege 
(as they speak of the soul,) that it is tola in 
toto, et tola in qualibet parte: As the 
whole church is the spouse of Christ, and 
each believing soul hath the same title and 
dignity to be called so ; thus each of these 
stones is called a whole templey temples 
qf the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. vi. 19, though 
biking the temple or building in a com- 
pleter sense, they are but each one a part, 
or a' stone of it, as here it is expressed. 

The whole excellency of this building is 
comprised in this, that it is called spiritual, 
distinguishing it from all other buildings, and 
preferring it to them ; and because he speaks 
immediately after of a priesthood and sacri- 
fices, it seems to be called a spiritual build-- 
ing, particulariy in opposition to that mate* 
rifd temple wherein the Jews gloried, which 
was now null, in regard of its former use, 
and was quickly after entirely destroyed : 
But when it stood, and the legal use of it 
stood in its fullest vigour, yet in this still it 
was inferior, that it was not a spiritual house 
made up of living stones as this, but of a 
like matter with other earthly buildings. 

The spiritual house is the palace of the 
Great King, or his temple. The Hebrew 
Tv'ord for palace and temple is one. Ood*s 
temple is a palace, and therefore must be foil 
of the richest beauty and magnificence, but 



snch as agrees with the natuie of it, a spiri- 
tual beauty. In that psabn that wishes so 
many prosperities, one is, that their dough* 
ters may be as comer~stones, polished after 
the similitude of a palace, PsaL cxliv. 12. 
This is the church that Is called the Kmg*e 
daughter, Psal. xlv. 13, but her oomelinesa 
is invisible to the world, she is all ghrioue 
within. Through sorrows and persecutions 
she may be smoky and black to the worid** 
eye, as the tents if Kedar ; but in regard of 
spiritual beauty, she is comely as <&« eur- 
tains of Solomon : And in this the Jewish 
temple resembles it right, which had most 
of its riches and beauty in the inside. Uoli* 
ness is the gold of this spiritnal house, and 
it is inwardly enriched widi that. 

The glory of the church of Ood consists 
not in stately buildings of temples, and rich 
furniture, and pompous oeienumies; these 
agree not with its spiritual nature. Its true 
and genuine beauty is, to grow in spiritua- 
lity, and so to be liker itself, and have more 
of ^e presence of Ood, and his ^ory filling 
it as a doud. And it hath been observed, 
that the more the Church grew in outward 
riches and state, the less she grew, or rather 
the more sensibly she abated in q>iritual 
excellencies. But the q>iritualness of this 
building will better appear in considering 
particulariy, 

2. The materials of it, as here expressed. 
To whom coming, &c pe also as lively 
stones are built, &c. Now, the whole 
building is Christ mystical : Christ, together 
with the entire body of the elect ; He as the 
foundation, and they as the stones built upoi^ 
him ; He the living stone, and they likewise, 
by union with him, as living stones; Ha 
having l^e in himself, as he speaks, John 
vi., and diey deriving it from him; He 
primitively living, and they by participation : 
For therefore is he called here a living stone, 
not only because of his immortality and glo- 
rious resurrection, being a Lamb that was 
slain and is alive again for ever ; but be- 
cause he is the principle c^ spiritual and eter- 
nal life unto us, a liv^ foundation, that 
transfuses this life into the whole building, 
and every stone of it. In whom (says the 
apostle, £ph. ii. 21,) all the building is fitly 
framed together. It is the Spirit that flows 
from him which enlivens it, and knits it 
together, as a living body ; for the same 
word rv9mMuX9y¥fti9»p is used, Eph. iv. 16^ 
for the Cburch, under the sunilitude of a 
body. When it is there said, chap. ii. 20, 
to be buUt upon the foundation qf the Pro^ 
phets and Apostles, it only refers to their 
doctrine concerning Christ ; and theiefoie it 
is added, that He, as being the subject of 
their doctrine, is the chi^ comer*stone. 
The foundation, then, of the Church lies noi 
in Rome, but in heaven, and therefore is out 
of the reach of all enemies, and above the 



▼E». 4, O.J 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



power of the ffolet ufhell, Vttx not, then, 
when jou see the storms arisen and ihg windg 
bioWf against ikis spiritual building^ for it 
thall stand ; it is buili upon an invisible, 
inmioveable Rock ; and tbat gseat Babylon, 
Rome itself, that, under the false title and 
pretence of supporting this building, is work- 
ing to overthrow it, shall be utterly overthrown, 
and laid equal with the ground, and never 
be rebuUt again. But this foundatian-stoney 
as it is commended by its quality, that it is 
a living and enlivening stone, having life, 
and giving life to those that are built on i^ 
so la also fiirther described by Ood*s choos- 
ing it, and its own worth, both opposed to 
men^s disesteem ; and therefore said here, to 
be chosen of God, God did indeed from 
eternity contrive this building, and choose 
this same fbimdation, and accordingly in the 
fulness of time did perform his purpose ; so 
the thing being one, we mi^ take it either 
fat his purpose or performance, or both ; yet 
it seems most suitable to the strain of the 
words, and the place after alleged, of laying 
him in Sion, and opposing the rejection nf 
men, that we may take it for Ood's actual 
employing of Jesus Christ in the work of our 
redemption : He alone was fit for that work ; 
it was utterly impossible that any other should 
bear the weight of that service (and so of 
this building) but He who was Almighty ; 
therefore the Spouse calls him the Select or 
Choice often thousand, yet rejected of men ! 
There is an antipathy (if we may so speak) 
betidxt the mind of God and corrupt nature : 
ihe things that are highly esteemed with men 
are an abomination to God ; and thus we 
see here, that which is highly esteemed of 
Ood, is cast and disallowed by men. But 
sure there is no comparison ; ^the choosing 
and esteem of God stands, and by that, judge 
men of Christ as they will. He is the foun- 
dation of this building. And he is in true 
value answerable to this esteem : He is pre^ 
eiotti, which seems to signify a kind of in- 
ward worth, hidden from the eyes of men, 
blind unbelieving men, but well known to God, 
and to those to whom he reveals him. And 
this is the very cause of his rejection by the 
most, the ignorance of his worth and excel- 
lency ; as a precious stone that the skilful 
lapiduy esteems of great valne, on ignorant 
beholder makes little or no account of. 

These things hold likewise in the other 
stones of this building, chosen before time ; 
aQ that should be of this building are fore- 
oidained in God*8 purpose, all written in that 
book beforehand, and then in due time they 
m chosen, by actual calling, according to 
tfvtt purpose, hewed out and severed by 
Ood*s own hand from the quarry of corrupt 
nature: dead stones in themselves, as the 
rest, but made living, by his bringing them 
to Christ, and so made truly preciotts, and 
accounted precious by Him tha hath made 



them ao. A& the stones in diis building 
are called God*9 jewele, Mai. iii. Though 
they be vilified, and scofied at, and despised 
by men ; though they pass for fools and the 
refuse of the world ; yet they may easily di. 
gest all that, in the comfort of this, if they 
are chosen oif God, and precious in his eyes. 
This was the very lot of Christ, and there- 
fore by that 'the more welcome that it con- 
forms them to him, and suits these stones 
to their foundation. 

And if we consider it aright, what a poor 
despicable thing is the esteem of men I How 
soon is it past \ It is a smaU thing for me, 
says the apostle, to be judged afmen, 1 Cor. 
iv. 3. Now, that God often chooses for this 
building such stones as men oast away as 
good for nothing, see 1 Cor. i. 26, ftc. ; and 
where he says, Isa. Ivii. 16, that he dwette 
in the high and holy place, what is his 
other dwelling? His habitation in earth. 
Is it in great palaces and courts ? No ; but 
with him that is of a contrite and humble 
spirit. Now, these are the basest in men's 
account, yet He chooses them, and prefers 
them to all other palaces and temples, Isa. 
Izvi. 1,. 2. " Thus saith the Lord, The 
heaven is my throne, and the earth is my 
footstool : where is Uie house that ye build 
unto me ? and where is the plaee of my 
rest ? For all those things hsUi mine hand 
made, and all those things have been, iaitfa 
the Lord ; but to this man will I look, even 
to him that is poor, and of a contrite spi- 
rit, and trembleth at my word.*' q. d. ** You 
cannot gratify me wiUi any dwelling, fbr 
I myself have made all, and a surer house 
than any you can make me, The heaven is 
my throne, and the earth ie my footstool; 
but I, that am so high, am pleased to regard 
the lowly." 

3. We have the structure, or way of 
building, To whom ooming.1 First coming, 
then buili up. They that come unto Christ, 
come not only fiom the world that lieth in 
wickedness, but out of themselves. Of a great 
many that seem to come to Christ, it may 
be said that they are not oHne to him, ^- 
cause they have not Uft themselves. That 
is believing on him, which is the very resign- 
ing the soul to Christ, and living by him. 
^^ Ye will not come unto me that ye may 
have life,*' says Christ, John t. 40. He 
complains of it as a wrong done to him ; but 
the loss is ours. It is his glory to give us 
life that were dead ; but it is our happiness 
to receive that lift ftom him. Now, these 
stones come unto their foundation; which 
imports the moving of the soul to Christy 
being moved by his Spirit, and that the wiQ 
actr, and willingly ; for it cannot act other- 
wise, but as being actuated and drawn by 
the Father, John vi. 66, " No man can 
come to me except the Father draw him i** 
And the outward mean of drawing, is by 



78 



A OOAIHENTASY UPON 



[CBAF. TL 



die word ; it li the MNmd of dmt haip that 
tarings the stones of this spiritiud buiUling 
together, and then, being united to Christ, 
they BR built up; that is, as St. Paul ex- 
presses it, £ph. ii. 21, " they grow vnp unto 
a holy temple in the Lord." 

la times of peace the chureh may dilate 
DMi^ and build as it were into breaddi ; but 
in trouble, it arises more in height ; it is 
then built upwards ; as in cities wheie men 
are straitened, they build usually higher than 
iathecouBtry. Notwithstanding the Church's 
afflicdens, yet still the building is going for- 
ward ; it is built (as Daniel speaks of Jeru- 
salem) in troublous time$. And it is this 
which the apostle intends, aa suiting with 
his foregoing eihortation ; and this may be 
read exhortarireLy too ; but taking it nther 
as asserting their condition, it is for this end, 
that they may remember to be Ukc it, and 
grow up» For this end he expressly calls 
them Uvinff okmst ; an adjunct not usual 
for stones, but hers inseparable : and thsce. 
fore, though the apostle changes the simili- 
tude foom infants to stones, yet he will not 
let go this quality of ftoin^, aa making 
chi^y for his purpose. 

To teach us the necessity of growth in 
beiievexBy they are therefose often oompaied 
to things that grow, to troeo planted in fruit* 
fill growing plM«i, oMb^Ihe rittero of waUr^ 
to ceiav in Lebunany whero Aef axe tallest, 
to the mominff Ufiht^ to infonts on the 
bseast ; and h«re, whsra the wotd seems to 
refiise it, to »i&m$f yet (it must aiid well 
dolh admit this unwonted epithet) th^ are 
called living and prowing tUmet. 

If, then, you would have the comfortable 
persuasion of this union with Christ, see 
whether you find your souls estaUiahed up. 
on Jesus Christ, finding him as your strong 
foundations not resting on yourself ea, nor 
on any other thing, either within you or 
without you, but supported by Him alone ; 
drawing lifo ftom Him, by virtae of that 
union, as from a living- foundation, so aa to 
say widi tha apostle^ ** I Uto 1^ foith in 
the Son of Ood, who lored me, and gave 
himsdf for me*" G«L ii. 20. 

As these stones an bmlt on Christ bf 
foith, so they ans cemented one to aaethar by 
love ) and therefore, when that is not, it is 
but a dilttsien to think themsdives parts of 
this building. 



l#f) importfaig, that the want of this much 
prsjttdiees edification. 

These stones, because Ihey oe living^ 
therefore grow in the life of grace and spi* 
ritnalness, being a spiritual building : So 
that if we find not this, but our h^urCs are 
still csmal, and glued to the earth, mindinff 
oarthlg things, wiser in those than in spiri- 
tuals, this evidences strongly against xm^ 
that we are not of this building. How few 
of us have that spiritualness that becomes 
the temples of the Holy Ghost or the stones 
of it 1 Base lusts are still lodging and ruling 
within us, and so our hearts are as cages of 
unclean birds and filthy spirits. 

Consider this as your happiness, and the 
unsoiidness of other comforts and privileges. 
If some have called those stones happy, that 
were taken for the building of temples cr al- 
tars, beyond those in common houses, how 
true is it here t Happy indeed the stones 
that God chooses to be living stones in this 
spiritual temple ! liiough they be hammered 
and hewed to be polished for it, by afflicdons, 
and the inward woric of mortification and le- 
pentance. It is worth the enduring all, to 
be fitted for this building. Happy they, be- 
yond all the rest of men t diougfa they b^ 
set in never so great honours, as prime parts 
of poMtic bniMings, states and kingdoms, in 
the oonrtsof kings, yea, or kings themselves ; 
For all other boildingB, and all the ports of 
them, shall be demoliahed and come to no^ 
thing, from the fbundation to the cope^tone ; 
all your houses, both cottages and palaces i 
<' the elements shall mdt away, and the 
earth, with all the woiks in it, shall be con- 
sumed,** as our aposde hath it, 2 Pet. ill. 
10. But this spiritual building shall grow 
up to heaven ; and being come to peifoction, 
shall abide for ever in perfocdon of beantf 
and glory. In it shall be finmd no unclean 
thing, nor unclean person, but only they 
that are written in Ifttf Lamb*s bookqfH/lg. 

An holy priesthood.] As die woi^p 
and ceremonies of (he Jewish church wese 
all shadows of Jesus Christ, and have their 
accomplishment in him, not only after a sin- 
gular manner in his own Person, but in a 
derived way, in his mystical body, his 
Churoh ; the priesdiood of the law rev«. 
sented Him as the Great High Priest^ ffiaC 
offered up himself for our sins, and diat is 
As it is knit to Him, it istaltogelher inoommunieable ; neidier is there 
knit together in itself dirough him ; and if any peculiar ofliee of priesthood fiir offering 



dead stones in a building support and mu- 
tually strongthen one anotller, how much 
mare ought kioing stones in an active livdy 
way to do w ? The stones of this buUding 
keep their place ; the lower rise not up to 
be in the plaee of the higlier. As the apos* 
tie speaks of the parts uf the body, m tha 
stones of tliis building in humility and love 
keep their station and ^w up in it, edify^ 
ing in hve, (as laUb tha apoacle^ Epik m 



aacrifice fai the Christian Church, but 
alone who is Head of it. But this dignity 
that is hero mentioned of a spiritual priest^ 
hood, o4Sksing spiritual saerifke, is common 
to all those that are in Christ ; as they are 
living stones built on Him into a spiritual 
temple^ so they are priests Kii that same tem« 
pie, made by him, Bev. i. 6. As he was 
aficra tr a nscendent manner. Temple, and 

so^ is Aeir kind, ars 



4,5.1 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



T© 



Ohriitf MM) all these duee thnmgh Mm ; and 
by his Spirit that is in thtm, their ofinings 
Aioiigh biiti aie made acceptable. 

We have'hsK, 1. The office; 2. The 
■errice of that office; 3. The sveeesa of that 



1. The office. The death of Jesns Christ, 
as beiDg eveiy way powerful fiv veooncaement 
and unioD, did not only break the partition- 
wall of guiltiness that stood betwixt God and 
■MDy but the wall of ceremonies that stood 
betwixt thfi Jews and Gentiles; made all 
that believe^ one with Gh>d; aftd made o^ 
ioih mte, as- the apostle speaks, united them 
one to another. The way of salvation was 
made known, not to one nation only, bat to 
all people ; that whereas the knowledge of 
God was confined to one little comer, it is 
now diffiued through the nations ; and 
whoeas the dignity of their priesthood stay, 
ed in ftw persons, all they that beHere are 
now thus dignified to be priests unto God 
the Father. And this was signified by the 
lending of the veil of the temple at his 
death, not only that those ceremonies and 
sacrifices were to cease, as being ail fulfilled 
in him ; but that the people of God that 
were before by that veil held out in the outer 
eourt, were to be admitted into the holy 
place, as being all of them priests, and fitted 
to offer sacrifices. 

The priesthood of the law was holy, and 
its holiness was signified by many outward 
things suitable to their manner, by anoint' 
inffSy and washingty and vettmenis ; but in 
tlJs apiritoal priesthood of the gospel, holi- 
ness itself is instead of all those, as being 
the substance of all. The children of God 
are aQ anointed and purified, and clothed 
^th holiness. But then, 

8. There is here the service of this office, 
namely, io offer. There is no priesthood 
without sacrifice, for these are relative, and 
this was the chief employment of die legal 
priests; now, because the priesthood here 
spoken of is altogether spiritual, therefore 
the sacrifices must be so too^ as the apoatle 
here expresses it. 

We- are saved the pains and cost of bring, 
i^g bullocks and rams, and other such sacri- 
fioes ; and these are in their stead ; as the 
q»stle speaks, Heb. viL 12. of the High- 
priesthood of Christ, that the priesthood 
being ehanffedy there foilowed qf neoesBtty 
a change of the law .- so in this priesthood 
of Christians, there is a change of the kind 
of sacrifice from the other. All sacrifice is 
not taken away, but it is changed from the 
ofiering of things fonnerly in use, to spiri- 
tual sacrifices. 

Hawy these are every way preforable ; they 
are eader and cheaper to us, and yet more 
precious and acceptable to God. As it fol- 
lows here in the text, even in the time when 
the other sacrifices were in request, yet those 



spiritual offerings had ever the pteeedsnce in 
God's account, and widieut them, he hated 
and despised all bunit.>offerings, and the 
largest sacrifices, though they were then ac^ 
cording to his own appointment. How mudi 
more Should we abound in spititnal sacrifiee^ 
that axe eased of the other ! How muck 
more holds that answer now, that was given 
even in those times, Mic. vi. 61, Wherewi^ 
shaB I eoJHS before the Lord, Slc Yon 
need not all that trouble and expence : that 
is at hand which God requires most of all, 
}f\ namely, to dojuetlpy and to love mercy, and 
to walk humbly with thy God. So, PasL 
I. ^, that which is peculiariy spoke of 
Christ, holds in Christians by confimnity 
with him. 

But though the spuitual sacrificing is easier 
in its own nature, yet to the corrupt natuis 
of man it is by ftr the harder. He wouM 
rather choose still all the toil and cost of the 
former way, if it were in his option. This 
was the sin of the Jews in those times, that 
they leaned the soul upon die body's service 
too much, and would have done enough of 
that to be dispensed firam this spiritual ssp* 
vice. HeB(^ are the Lord's frequent to* 
proofii and complaints of this, Ps. 1. Isa. !•' 
&C. Hence the willingness in Popery fm 
outward work, for penances, and satisfoetioa* 
of bodies and purses ; any thing of that kind, 
if it might serve, rather than the inwaa 
work of repentance and mortification, the spi- 
ritual service and sacrifices of tl» soul t Bne 
the answer of sin diose firam God is that o# 
(he Prophet, << Who hadi reqasied thes« 
things at your hands ?" Isa. L 12. 

Indeed the sacred writers presa woks o# 
charity, if they be done with a right hand, 
and the left hand not so ranch as acquainted- 
with &e business; as our Saviour qieaks, 
<' Let not thy left hand know what thy right 
hand doth," Matt. vL 3. They must b» 
done with a single intentiai, and from • 
right principle moviag to them, wldiout any 
vain opinion of meriting by them wllh €k»d, 
or any vain derire of gainbig i^f^ilanse with 
men ; but merely out of love to God, and to 
man for hia sake. Thus ihey are one of 
these spiritual sacrifices ; and theoefore ought 
by no means to be neglected by ChrisasD 
priests, that is, by any &at aie Christiana. 

Another spiritual sacrifice is, l*« j rraytrr 
of the taints, Rev. v. 8, PsaL cxlS. 2, ^ Let 
my prayer be set forth before dice aa tecsnse, 
and the lifting up of my hands aa the even- 
ing sacrifice." It is not the cou i pos iu a of 
prayer, or the eloquence of expresrion, that 
is Uic sweetness of it in God's account, ami 
makes it a sacriffoe of a pleasing smelt or 
sweet odour to him ; but the breaking ftrdi 
the desfie of the heart that makes it a 
spiritual sacrifice, othenrise it is as carnal, 
and dead, and worthless, in God's aooount, 
as the carcases of beasts* Inceaso can nel. 



80- 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[csAp.tr. 



ther woasSkf not ascend, without five; no 
more doth prayer, uxden it arise fimm a bent 
of iplTitual action ; it is that both makes 
it smell and sends it heavenwards, makes it 
never leave moving upwards till it come be- 
fiire QoA, and smell- sweet in his nostrils, 
which few, too few, of our prayers do. 

Praise is also a tetcrifice ; to make respect- 
ful and honourable mention of the name of 
€k>d, and of his goodness ; to bless him 
humbly and heartily. Heb. ziii. 15 ; PsaL 
L 14, 23, Offer unto God ihanksgttfing, 
Whoto qfkreih praUe ghrifieth me. And 
this is that sacrifice that shaJl never end, but 
continues in heaven to eternity. Then a 
holy course qf life is called tfie eaerifice of 
righteouitiess, Psal. iv. 6, Phil. iv. 8, Heb. 
ziii. 16, where he shews what sacrifices suc- 
ceed to those that, as he hath taught at large, 
are abolished. ' Christ sacrificed for us, and 
that alone, was powerful to take away sin ; 
but our gratulatoiy sacrifices, praise and alms, 
are as incense burnt to Ood, of which, as 
the standers-by find the sweet smell, so the 
holy life of C9msdans smells sweet to those 
widi whom they live : But the wicked, 
as putrified carcases, are of a noisome 
smell to CK>d and man, PsaL xiv. 4, They 
are corrupt; they have done abominable 
works. 

In a word, that sacrifice, that includes all 
theae, and without which none of these can 
be rightly offered, is ourselves, our whole 
sdves. Our bodies are to be presented a 
Uving sacrifice, Rom. xii. 1, and they are 
not tiliat wi^ont our souls. It is our heart 
given that gives all the rest, tat that com- 
mands alL My son, give me thy heart, and 
tliten Che other will follow, Thine eyes will 
deHght m my ways. This makes the eyes, 
ears, tongue, and hands and all, to be holy, 
as Ood*8 peculiar, being once given and con- 
secrated to him; and theiefbte it becomes 
sacrilege to torn them to an unholy use. 
This makes a man to delight to hear and 
speak of things that concern God, and to 
think on him frequently, to be holy in his 
secret thoughts, and all his ways. In every 
thing we bring him, every thanksgiving and 
prayer we offer, his eye is upon the heart, he 
looks if it be along with our offering ; and if 
he miss it, he eares not for all the rest, and 
throws it back again. 

The heart must be offered withal, and the 
whole heart, all of it entirely given to him t 
Si totum obtulit Christus pro nobis. In' 
anotfaer sense, which crosses not this, it must 
not be whole but broker^ Psal. li. But if 
thou find it unbroken, yet give it him, with 
a desire that it may be broken ; and if it be 
broken, and if, when thou hast given it him, 
he break it more, yea and melt it too, yet 
thou shalt not repent thy gift ; for he breaks 
and melts it, that he may refine it, and 
make it up in a new a&d excellent framcu 



and may impiess hit own linage on It^ md 
make it holy, and so like to himself. 

Let us then give him ourselves, or iio» 
thing ; and to give ourselves to him, is not 
his advantage but our*s ; as the philoaopliflr 
said to his poor scholar, who, when othen 
gave him great gifb, told hixn, he had no» 
thing but himself to give ; « It is weU, (said 
he,) and I will endnvouz to give thee back 
to thyself better than I received thee.*' 
Thus doth God with us, and a Christiaii 
makes himself his daily sacrifice ; he renews 
this gift of himself every day to God, and 
receiving it every day bettered again, sdll he 
hath the more delight to give it, as being 
fitter for God, the more it is sanctified by 
former sacrificing. 

Now that whereby we offer all other spiri- 
tual sacrificings, and even ourselves, is love. 
That is the hdy fire that bums up all, sends 
up our prayers, and our hearts, and our 
whole selves, a whole bumt-offering to God t 
And as the fire of the altar, it is originally 
from heaven, being kindled by CK>d*s own 
love to us ; and by this the Church and each 
believer ascends like a straight pillar of 
smoke, as the word is. Cant. iiL 6, going 
even up to Ood perfumed with aloes and eUl 
the spices, all the graces of the Spirit re- 
ceived from Christ, but above all with his 
own merits. 

How far from this is the conmion mul« 
titude of us, though professing to be Chris- 
tians I M^ho considers liis holy calling ? 
As the peculiar holiness of the ministry 
should be much in their eye and thoughts 
that are called to it, as they should study to 
be answerably emhient in holiness, so all 
that are Christians, consider you are prieota 
unto God, being called a holy priesthood g • 
thus you ought to be. But if we speak what 
we are indeed, we must say rather, we are 
an unholy priesthood, a shame to that name 
and holy profession ; instead of the sacrificea 
of a godly life, and the incense of prayer and 
praise, in frmilies and alone, what is with 
many but the filthy vapours <^ pnifiaie speak« 
ing and a profane life, as a ndsome smell 
arising out of a dungMQ ! 

But you, that have once off'ered up your* 
selves unto God, and are still doing so, with 
all the services you can reach, continue to do 
so, and be assured, that how unworthy soever 
yourselves and all your offerings be, yet they 
shall not be rejected. 

The 3d thing here observable, is the suc- 
cess of that service, acceptable to God by 
Jesus Christ, Heb. xiii. 16. The children 
of God do delight in offering sacrifices to 
him : But if they might not know that they 
were well taken at their hands, this would 
discourage them much ; therefore thia is 
added. How often do the godly find it In 
their sweet experience, that when they come 
(o fnsLVf he welcomes them, and gives them 



6.1 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



81 



sacii evidences of bis lore as they would not 
exchange for all worldly pleasures 1 And 
when ^ia doth not so presently appear at 
other times,. yet they ought tQ believe it 
He accepts themselves and their ways of- 
ftxed in sincerity, though never so mean ; 
diongfa they sometimes have no more but a 
ngh or groan, it is most properly a spiritual 



Stay not therefore away, because thou, 
and tJie gifts thou offerest, are. inferior to 
the offerings of others. No, none are ex.> 
daded for that ; only give what thou hast, 
and act with auction, for that he regards 
most. Under the law, they that had not 
a lamb, were welcome with a pair of pi. 
geons; so that the Christian may say, 
** What I am. Lord, I offer myself unto 
theej to he tchotty thine ; and had I a 
thmuand times more of outward or inward 
gfftSf ail should be thine ; had I a greater 
estate f or wU, or learning, or power, I would 
endeavour to serve thee with all. What 
I have I offer thee, and it is most truly 
thine, it is but of thy own that I give thee.** 
None needs forbear sacrifice for poverty, for 
that which God requires is the heart, and 
there is none so poor teit that hath a heart 
to give him. ^ 

But meanness is not all ; there is a guilti. 
ness in ourselves, and on all we offer ; our 
pnyers and services ate all polluted. But 
this hinders not neither ; for our acceptance 
b not for oursdves, but for One, who hath 
no guiltiness at aU. Acceptable by Jesus 
Christ* In him our persons are clothed 
with righteousness, and in his clothing, we 
are, as Isaac said of Jacob in his brother's 
garments, as the smell of a field that the 
Lord hath blessed, Oen. xxvii. 27. And all 
ma other sacrifices, our prayers, and services, 
if we offer them by him, and put them into 
his hand, to offer to the Father ; then doubt 
not they will be accepted in him ; for this, 
bp Jesus Christ, is relative both to our 
eiSering and acceptance. We ought not to 
otffer any thing, but by him, Heb. xiii. 15. 
And so we are well pleasing, for he is his 
weD4>eloved Son, in whom his soul is dc- 
fighted ; not only delighted, and pleased 
with himself, but in him, witli all things 
and persons that appear in him, and are pre. 
sented by him. 

And this alone answers all our doubts; 
Sot we ourselves, as little as we see that way, 
yet may see so much in our best services, so 
many wanderings in prayer, so much dead- 
ness, &c. as would make lis still doubtful of 
acceptance ; so that we might say with Job, 
AltTiough he had answered me, yet would I 
not believe that he had hearkened to me. 
Job ix. 16, were it not for this, that our 
jmycn, and all our sacrifices, pass through 
Christ's hand. He is that Angel that hath 
much sweei odours to mingle with the 



prayers of the saints, Rev. viii. 3, 4. He 
purifies them with his own merits and inter- 
cession, and so makes them pleasing unto 
the Father. How ought our hearts to be 
knit to him ! by whom we are brought into 
favour with God, and kept in favour with 
him, in whom wc obtai^ idl the good we re- 
ceive, and in whom all we offer is accepted ! 
In him are all our supplies of grace, and our 
hopes of glory. 

YxR. 6. Whercfure, alao» it is contained In the 
ScriptarCt Behold, I lav in Sion a chief oomcr- 
Btone* elect, predoiu : And he that believcth on 
Him shall not be confounded. 

That which is the ehief of the works of 
God, is therefore very reasonably the chief 
subject of his word ; as both most excellent 
in itself, and of most concernment for us to 
know. 

And this is the saving of lost mankind 
by his Son. Therefore is his name as pre- 
cious ointment or perfume diffused through 
the whole scriptures. All these holy Reaves 
smell of it, not only these that were written 
after his coming, but those that were written 
before. Search the Scriptures, says he 
himself, for they testify of me, John v. 
39, namely, the scriptures of the Old Tes- 
tament, which were only then written. 
And to evidence this, both himself and his 
apostles make so frequent use of their testi- 
mony, and we find so much of them inserted 
into the New, as being both one in sub- 
stance ; their lines meeting in the same 
Jesus Christ as their centre. 

The apostle here having expressed the 
happy estate and dignity of Christians under 
a double notion, 1. of a spiritual house or 
temple ; 2. of a spiritual priesthood, he 
amplifies and confirms both from the writ- 
ings of the prophets. The former, ver. 6, 
7, 8 ; the latter, ver. 2. The places that he 
cites, touching this building, are most per- 
tinent, for they have clearly in them, all that 
he spoke of it, both concerning the founda<« 
tion and the edifice; as the first in these 
words of Isaiah xxviii. IT, Behold I lay in 
Sion a chief comer'St9ne, &,c. 

Let this commend the scriptures much to 
our diligence and affection, dhat their great 
theme is our Redeemer, and redemption 
wrought by him : That they contain the 
doctrine of his excellencies,-^-are the lively 
picture of his matchless beauty. Were we 
more in them, we should daily see more of 
him in them, and so of necessity love him 
more. But we must look within them : The 
letter is but the case : the spiritual sense is 
what we should desire to sec. We usually 
huddle them over, and see no fartlier than 
their outside, and therefore find so Utile 
sweetness in them ; we read them, but ws 
search them not, as he requires. Would 
we dig into those golden mines, we should 

F 



as 



A COMJMTENTAiiy UPON 



[chap. ir« 



tliat 



euiDot be 
the hardest 



find treasures of comfort 
fipent, but would fumish us in 
times. 

The prophecy here cited, if we look upon 
it in its own place, we shall find inserted in 
the middle of a very sad denunciation of 
judgment against the Jews. And this is 
usual with the prophets, particularly with 
this evangelical prophet Isaiah, to uphold 
the spirits of the godly, in the worst times, 
with this one great consolation, the promise 
of the 3iessiah ; as weighing down ^Jl, both 
temporal distresses and deliverances. Hence 
tie^those sudden accents, (so frequent in the 
prophets), from their present subject, to this 
great hope of Israel. And if this expecta- 
tion of a Saviour was so pertinent a comfort 
in all estates, so many ages before the accom- 
plishment of it, how wrongfully do we un- 
dervalue it, being accomplished, if we can- 
not live upon it, and answer all with it, and 
sweeten all our griefs in this advantage, that 
there U a Founda4ion^one laid in Sion, 
on which they that are bmUied shaU hg ntre 
not to be ashamed! 

In the words, there are five things: 1. 
This foundation-stone ; 2. The laying of it ; 
3. The building on it ; 4. The firmness of 
this building ; and, 5. or lastly. The great- 
ness and excdlency of the whole work. 

1 . For the FoundoHony called here a chief 
Cornerstone, — Though the prophet's words 
axe not precisely rendered, yet the substance 
and sense is one : There both the founda- 
tion and corner-stone is expressed, the cor- 
ner-stone in the foundation being the main 
support of the building, and throughout the 
comer-stones imiting and knitting ^e build- 
ing together ; and therefore this same word 
of a corner f is frequently taken in scripture 
for Princetj or Heads of People, Judges 
XX. 2, 1 Sam» xiv. 38, because good gover- 
nors and government aie that which uphdds 
and unites the societies of people in states or 
kingdoms, as one building. And Jesus 
Christ is indeed the abne Head and King 
of his Church, who gives it laws, and rules 
it in wisdom and righteousness ; the alone 
Rock on which his Church is built, not 
Peter, (if we will believe St. Peter himself, 
as here he teacheth us), much less his pre- 
tended successors ; He is the foundation and 
comer-stone that knits together the walls of 
Jews and Gentiles, having made of both one, 
as St. Paul speaks, £ph. ii. 14, and unites 
the whole number of believers into one ever- 
lasting temple, and bears the weight of the 
whole fabric. 

Mlectedf] at chosen out for the purpose, 
and altogether fit for it. Isaiah hath it, a 
Stone of Trial, or a tried Stone. As things 
amongst men are best clioscn after trial, so 
Jesus Christ was certainly known by the 
Kather, as most fit for that work, to which 
hf choae him before he tried him, as »&ef 



upon trial in his life, and death, and Kwaw 
rection, he proved fully answerable to hte 
Father's purpose, in all that was appointed 
him. 

All the stsength of angela oombined, had 
not sufficed for that busineas ; but the wiia 
Architect of this building knew both what it 
would cost, and what a foundadon was need* 
ful to bear so great and so lasting a stmctma 
as he intended. Sin having de£oed and de- 
molished the first building of man in the la> 
tegrity of his creation, it waa God's design, 
out of the very ruins of fiiUen man, to nise 
a more lasting edifice duun the former ; one^ 
that should not be subject to decay » and 
therefore he fitted for it a fbandaticn thai 
might be everlasting. The soie (bunding ii 
the main thing requisite^ in order to a liHit. 
ing building ; therefore, that it might stand 
for the true honour of his Majesty, (whidi 
NebuchadneBBi vainly boasted of hiaBahc^) 
he chose his own Son, made Jteeh ; he waa 
God, that he might be a strong fowndatiott i 
he was man, that he might be suitable to the 
nature of the stones whoeof the buildiqg was 
to consist, that they might join and oement 
together. 

Precioue^] inestimably pBedo■i^ by all 
the conditions that can give worth to any, bf 
rareness, and by inward excetteney, and use* 
ful virtues. Rare he Is, out of doubt ; theva 
is not such a person in the wodd egaint 
Therefore he is called by the nme pr^>het» 
Wonderful, laa. ix. 6» full of wonders; the 
power of God and the frailty of man dwelU 
ing together in his person ; the Ancient of 
days, Dan. vii. 9, becoming an infont : He^ 
that stretcheth forth the heavens, was boimd 
up in swaddling dothea in that his inbacf | 
and in his full age, stretched forth on ^ 
cross ; altogether spotless and innooeni, and 
yet suffering not only the unjust cmeltiei of 
men, but the just wrath of (Jod his Father | 
the Lord of life, and yet dying. Hia eB« 
cellency ^)pears in the same things, in- thai 
He is the Lord of life, God blessed for ever f 
equal with the Father: The spaddinfi 
brightness of this precious stone is no kea 
than this, that he is the brightneu i^ thm 
Father*s glory, Heb. i. 3 ; so bri|^t the* 
men could not have beheld him appMring in 
himself; therefore, he veiled it wiA our 
flesh ; and yet through that, it shined and 
sparkled aa, that &e apostle St. John says 
of himself, and those others that had cye» 
opened, and looked right upon him, Bb. 
dwelt amongst us, and he had a tent VJkm 
ours, and yet flirough that, <<we saw hi* 
gloiy, as the gkny of the only-begolten Son 
of God, fttU of grace and truth," John i. 14^ 
the Deity filling his human nature with all 
manner of grace in its highest perfoctieo. 
And Christ is not only thus excellent inhiOK 
self, but of precious virtue, which he lets- 
forUi and imparts to others ; of such viitui^ 



1 



a.1 



THE FIRST EPISTLB OF PETER. 



ChAt * toQch fltUm is the onl j eun cff spixi. 
tuai dittiiHci Men tell of stiange Tiitiieft of 
some stoDM | Iml U is cm^Axky ^at this pre* 
doiis StuBiB hath aat wlf virtue to hedl t^ 
■icky but even to laise tbe dead. Bead 
bodies ha ndsed in the ^yaof his abodaea 
aaithy and dead souls ba still doth laisa bj 
the pover of his woid» Tbe ]MOf het Ma]»» 
cbl calls him the Sun of JWyXwss m a sS ) (if. 
S,) which hath in it the nHreness and mauh- 
Uacy we speak of : He is singHlsa ; as thsM 
is but one sua in the woildy so b«t one Sa- 
tUmit, and his lustre such a stone as out- 
shines the sun in its luUest brigbcasas : 
And then ftv bis nsefiil virtn^ be add^ 
That K§ hath healing SMtdsr hU unt^»f 
tfaia bis worth is anspcahable^ and 
infinite^ beyond all these resemblances. 

2. Theaa ia here the laying of this Ibum. 
datioi^ and ii is said to-be lidd in Siofs; 
Ibat is, it is laid in Oa Cbuidi of Qod. 
And it was first laid hi Sion litenJly, being 
dien the seat of the Chmch and true religion : 
He was laid there, in bis numiftstation in 
Oie flesh, and suffering, and dying, and xis* 
ing again, and afterwards being pveaehed 
through die world, became the fimndntion 
of hia Chucch in sJl plaoes where his nasas 
was received : and so was a Stone ginwiAg 
ffeat^iSSiitJiUed the vfhoU earth, mJkaatl 
hath it, U. 35. 

He saiib, I lay ; by which the Load as- 
masseth tUs his own propev work, as the 
PsshniBt speaks of the same subject. Psalm 
cxvlH. 23, << This U the Lard's deins; and 
it ia marvaQona in our eyes.** So Isa. ix. 
1y speaking of this procnisad Messiah, 
<< The seal of the Lord of hosts wdl peilbm 



firmness of it, whScb is likewise expressed hi 
tbe prof^et's woid% very emphaticBUy, by 
xedonbliRg ths same word,' a w i s arf, waeadf 
ywMMHnew/itfit, /ttfuiaiinentwa» 

Se PsaL H. 6, " i have set my king wp^ 
enmyholy hillof Zioa;*' Who then shatt 
dsduone hhn ? '< I ha? e given him the hea* 
then for his inheiitanas, and the ends of the 
eactli ibr bis possession ;** and who will bin. 
derbfai ta take possessioD efbia right P If 
any offts to do so, what shsU they be, but a 
number of earthen vessib fighting against 
an iron soeptse ; and so cotahdy bveaking 
tfaamsdves in pieces ? Thus hsM^ / ioy 
thU fofmtdeOmt-etime s And If I lay itk 
who shell remove it ? And what I build 
iqion It, who shalt be abls to cast down f 
For it is the glory of this great Maatar^uild. 
cr« that the wbote fiMc which is of his 



bufldteg cannot be rained ; and fbv that 
end^hiSh he bdd an inmiovsabls ibandtstion ; 
d lor ihat end^ are we tangM end lemlnd* 



»» 



And this is not only said, I la§ ; becaoae 
he had the first thought of this great work, 
(as the modal of it was in his mind from 
etenity, and the acoompliahment of it was> 
by his Almighty Power, in die morning of 
hia Son's birth, and his life, and death, and 
nsnnectiion :) but also to ugnify the fineness 
of hia grace, in giving his Son to be a fonn- 
dation of happiness to man^ without die 
least motion from man, or modve in ma% to 
draw him to it. And this seems to be sig^ 
nified by the ^unea^eoted inserting of diese 
prophetical psomisea of tlie Messiah, in the 
midst of oamplainto of people's wickedness, 
and threatening them with punishment ; to 
intimate tliat there ia no oonnacdai^ betsrixt 
this work, and any thing on man's part, fit 
to paocura it. " Although you do thus psi^ 
voke me to destroy you, yet of myself I have 
other thoughts, there is another pnipose in my 
head." And Iia. vu. lOu.13, it is observable 
to this purpose, that that clearest promise of 
the virgin's Son is given, not only unrequired, 
but being sefiised by that profiuie king, AhaSk 

This again, diat die Lord himself is die 
la^er of this Corner-stone, teaches us the 



an 

ed of its firmness ; that we may have thi« 
oenfidence oeneermng the Ghnieh of God 
that is bniU upon it. To the eye ef natu^ 
the Church ssema to have no finindatien; 
as Job speaks of the earth, thatie hang 
tqMis nething^ (Job zxvi. 7,) and yet, as 
the earth remainedi firm, being established 
in its phwe by the weed and pewer of Ood, 
the Chnrdi is most firmly fimnded upon the 
ward madejieehy Jem* Chriet ie Ue ohitf 
oemsT'etone, And as sfi the winds that 
blow cannat remove tlM earth out ef its placs | 
neither can all die attempts of men, no, noi 
of the gate* ef hell, preeaU agatnet the 
Charohf Mattb. svk 18; It may be beaten 
with many beisterons stsrms, du/ U eawnei 
fatty becauee it ie femruied vfen fine lloc% 
Matdi. vii. 26. Thus it is widi die whole 
booas, and tfans widi evei^ stone in it, as 
here it SdHows, He Aat belieeeth ehall ne$ 
be eonfaemded* 

Sw Them is next the buiUhig on diia 
ibunantifln. To be builton Christ, is- pbrin* 
ly to believe in him. But in this the meet 
deceive themsdves ; they hear of great pif- 
vileges and happiness in Chnst, and pr»i 
eenAy imagiDe it is sB theirs, without any 
more ado ; aa that madman of Alliens, nAia 
mote up sll the ships that came into the 
haven for his own» We coasidce not wha9 
dda is to bdiew in hitn, sndwhat is die Mh 
cessity of diis bdieving, that we iw^ be> 
tpartakem ef the salvation diai he hafllv 
wrought. It is not they that have beard a$ 
him, or that hanre some common knowledge 
of hita, as see able todboonrse of him, amb 
speak of his person snd nature asight ; bur 
theg thai beHette in Mm. Much ef em 
knowledge is, as tiiat of a geometr ic ian tiiat 
can measure land exacdy in all its dimso* 
sions, but posaesseth not a fi>ot thereof; or. 
of a poor philosopher, who defineth ridiat 
esaody, and discouxseth. of theiF natuai^ hot 



84 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[crap. it« 



pMsesseth none. And trulj it is but » life- 
Xbm unsavoury knowledge men have o£ Christ, 
by all books and study, till he xeveal him- 
sdf, and persuade the heart to believe in him. 
Then indeed it says of all the reports it 
heard when it sees him, and is made one 
with him, — I heard much, yet the htU/weu 
not told me. There is in lively faith, when 
it is infused into the soul, a dearer knowledge 
of Christ and his ezccJlency than befive : 
and with it a recumbency of the soul upon 
him, as the foundati<m of its life and com- 
fort ; a resolving to rest on him, and not to 
depart £rtm him upon any terms. Though 
I be beset on all hands, be accused by the 
law and mine own conscience, and by Satan, 
and have nothing to answer for myself; yet 
here I will stay, for I am sure in him there 
is salvation, and nowhere else. All other 
refuges are but lies, as it is in the words be- 
fore these in the prophet, poor base shifb 
that will do no good. God hath laid this 
precious Stone in Sion, for this very pur. 
pose, that weary souls may rest upon it ; and 
why should I not make use of it, according 
to his intention ? He hath not forbid any, 
how wretched soever, to believe, but com- 
mands it, and himself works it where he 
will, even in the vilest sinners. 

Think it not enough, that you know this 
Stone is laid, but see whether you are built 
on it by faith. The multitude of imaginary 
believers lie round about it, but they are 
never the better nor the surer for that, no 
more than stones that lie loose in heaps near 
unto a foundation, but are not joined to it 
There is no benefit to us by Christ, without 
union with him ; no comfSort in his riches, 
without interest in them, and title to them, 
by that union. Then is the soul right, 
when it can say. He is altogetJier lovely, 
and as the spouse there, He is mine, my 
Well^eloved, Cant. iii. 16. And this union 
is the spring of aQ spiritual consolations ; 
and fiuth, by which we are thus united, is a 
divine work* He that laid this foundation 
in Sion with his own hand, wodcs likewise 
with the same hand, faith in the heart, by 
which it is knit to this comer-stone. It is 
not so easy as we imagine to believe, Eph. 
i. 19. Many that think they believe, are 
on the contrary like those of whom the 
prophet there speaks, hardened in sin, and 
carnally secure, whom he represents as in 
covenant with hdl and death, walking in 
tin, and yet promising themselves impunity. 

4. There is the firmness of this building, 
namely. He thai believeth on him shall not 
be confounded,] This firmness is answer- 
able to the nature of the foundation. Not 
only the whole fhune, but every stone of it 
abideth sure. It is a simple mistake, to 
judge the persuasion of perseverance to be 
adf-presnmption : they that have it are far 
item building it on themselves^ but thris 



foundation is tliat which makes ihem sure ; 
because St doth not only remain firm itself, 
but Indissolttbly supports all that are once 
built on it. In the prophet whence this is 
cited, it is, shall not make haste, but the 
sense is one : they that are disappointed and 
ashamed in their hopes, run to and fro, and 
seek after some new resource ; this they shall 
not need to do that come to Christ. The 
believing soul makes haste to Christ, but it 
never finds cause to hasten from him ; and 
though the comfort it expects and longs for, 
be for a time deferred, yet it gives not over, 
knowing that in due time it shall rejoice, 
and sludl not have cause to blush, and think 
shame of its confidence in him. David ez- 
presseth this distrust, by makiny hasle, 
Psal. xxxi. 22. and cxvi. 11, / was too 
hasty tplien I said so. Frustrated hopes, 
especially where they have been raised high, 
and continued long, do reproach men with 
folly, and so shame them. And thus do aB 
eardily hopes serve us, when we lean much 
upon them. We find these things usually 
that have promised us most content, pay us 
with vexation, and they not only prove broken 
reeds, deceiving our trust, biit hurtful, run- 
ning their broken splinters into our hand that 
leaned on them. This sure foundation is 
laid for us, that our souls may be established 
on it, and be as mount Sion thai cannot be 
removed, Ps. czxv. 1. Such times may 
come as will shake all other supports, but this 
holds out against all, Psal. xlvi. 2, '^ Though 
the earth be removed, yet wiU not we fear.*' 
Though the frame of €ae world were crack- 
ing about a man*s ears, he may hear if un- 
■af^ghted that is built on this foundation : 
Why then do we choose to build upon the 
sand$ Believe it, wheresoever we lay our 
confidence and affection beside Christ, it shall 
sooner or later repent us and shame ns; 
either happily in time, while we may yet 
change them for him, and have recourse to 
him ; or miserably, when it is too late. Re- 
member that wc must die, and must appear 
before the judgment seat qf God, tod that 
the things we dote on here have neither 
power to stay us here, nor have we power to 
take them iJong with us, nor if we could, 
would they at idl profit us there ; and there- 
fore when we looic back upoir them all at 
parting, we shall wonder what fools we are 
to make so poor a choice ; And in " that 
great day wherein all faces shall gather black- 
ness,** Joel ii. 6, and be filled with confu- 
sion, that have neglected to make Christ their 
stay when he was offered them, then it shall 
appear how happy they are that have trusted 
in him ; they shall not be confounded, but 
shall lift up their faces, and be acquitted in 
him. In their present estate they may be 
exercised, but then they shall not be eonm 
founded, nor ashamed ; there is a double 
motion in the original, '* hy^ no means, 



VCB. 6.] » 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



80 



(thejr shall) be more than oonqaeion through 
him that hath loved them, Rom. viii. 37« 

5. The last thing observable ia the great- 
ness aivd excellency of the work, intimated 
in that first word, Beholdj which imports 
this work to be very remarkable, juid calls 
the eyes to fix upon it. 

The Lord is marvellous in the least of his 
works, but in this he hath manifested more 
of his wisdom and power, and let out more 
of Ills lo>'e to mankind, than in all' the rest ; 
yet we aro foolish, and childishly gaze about 
us u] on trifles, and let this great work pass 
anregaided, we scarce alFord it half an eye. 
Turn your wandering eyes this way. Look 
upon this preciotu Slone, and behold him, 
not in mere speculation, but so behold him, 
as to lay hold op him : For we see he is 
therefore here set forth, that we may believe 
on hi my and so not be confounded ; that we 
may attain this blessed union, that cannot be 
dissolved. All other unions are dissoluble : 
A man may be plucked from his dwelling 
house and lands, or they from him, though 
he have never so good title to them ; may be 
removed from his dearest friends, the husband 
from the wife, if not by other accidents in 
their life-time, yet sure by death, the great 
dissolver of all those unions, and of that 
straiteat one of the soul with the body ; but 
it can do nothing against this union, but on 
the contrary perfects it ; for << I am persuad- 
ed, (says St. Paul), that neither death, nor 
llfb, n£r angels, nor principalities, nor powers, 
nor things present, nor things to come, nor 
height, nor depth, nor any other creature, 
shaU be able to separate us fVom the love of 
God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord," 
Rom. Tiii. 38, 39. 

There Is a twofold mistake concerning 
faith. They that are altogether void of it, 
abusing and flattering themselves in a vain 
opinion that they have it : and on the other 
aide, they that have it, misjudging their own 
condition, and so depriving themselves of 
much comfi>rt and sweetness that they might 
find in their believing. 

The former is the worse, and yet the far 
commoner evil, and what one says of wisdom 
is true of fidth, << Many would seek afkr, 
and attain it, if they did dbt falsely imagine 
that they have attained it already."* There 
ia nothing mote contrary to the lively nature 
of fiuth, than fbr the soul not to' be at all 
busied with the thoughts of its own spiritual 
condition, and yet tMs very character of un- 
belief paaaes wiUi a great many for believing. 
They doubt not, that is indeed they consider 
not, what they are ; their minds are not at 
all on these things ; are not awaked to seek 
diligently after Jesus, so as not to rest till 
they find him. They are well enough with- 
out him^ it suffices them to hear there is such 



* PuCo multot potttiaie ad aspfentUm perrenire 
■U putaaent se jam pervwiaw. Saw. de TiaiiQ^ 



a one ; but they ask themselves. Is he 
mine, or no ? Sure if that be all, not to 
doubt, the brutes believe as well as they. It 
were better, out of all question, to be labour* 
ing under doublings ; if it be a more hope* 
ful condition, to find a man groaning and 
complaining, than speecliless, and breathless, 
and not stirring at alL 

There be in spiritual doubtings two thingi$ ; 
tliere is a solicitous care of the soul concern-* 
ing its own estate, and diligent inquiry into 
it ; and that is laudable, being a true work 
of the Spirit of GK)d : but the. other thing in 
them, is perplexity and distrust, which arises 
from darkness and weakness in the soal ; as 
where there is a great deal of smdce, and no 
clear flame, it argues much moisture in the 
matter, yet it witnesseth certainly that there 
is fire there ; and therefore dubious question- 
ing of a man concerning himself, is a much 
better evidence, than senseless deadness, 
that most take iax believing. Men that 
know nothing in sciences have no doubts* 
He never truly believed, that was not made 
first sensible and convinced of unbelief. 
This is the Spirlt^s first errand in the world, 
to convince it of ein ,* and the sin is this, 
that n^ey believe noty John xvi. 8, 9. If 
the &ith that thou hast, grew out of thy. 
natural heart of itself, be assured it is but 
a weed. The right plant oi fiuth is always 
set by God*B own hand, and it is watered 
and preserved by him, because exposed to 
many hazards ; he watches it night and day, 
Isa. xxvii. 3. " I the Lord do ke^p it, 1 
will water it every mcnnent ; lest any hurt 
it, I will keep it night and day." , 

Again, how impudent is it in the most, 
to pretend they believe, while they waUow 
in pro&neness. If faith unite the soul unto 
Christ, certainly it puts it into participa- 
tion of his Spirit; <^ for if any man have not 
the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his," swrs 
St. PauL This faitli in Christ brings us 
into communion with God. Now, God is 
liffhi, says St. John, and therefore infers^ 
" If we say we have fellowship with God, 
and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the 
truth," 1 John i. 6. The lie appears in our 
practice, an unsuitableness in our carriage ; 
as one said of him that signed his verse 
wrong, FecU solwcismum manu. 

But there be imaginary believers that are 
a little more refined, that live alter a blame« 
less, yea, and a religious manner, as to their 
outward behaviour; and t;hey yet are but 
appearances of Christians, have not the living 
wOTk of faith within, and all tliese exercises 
are dead works in their hands. Amongst 
these sqme may have such notions within 
them as may deceive themselves, while their 
external deportn^ent deceives others, some 
transient touches of desire to Christ, upon 
the unfolding of his excellencies in the 
preaching of the worc^ and upon some con^ 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[CBA». n. 



victSon of tbdr own neoeititf , and may con- 
eeive some joy upon thougto of mppnbaa.dx' 
ing him ; and yet aB this prorea bat « Ta- 
idshing ftnqr, and embcadng of a ahadow. 
And because men Aak are thus deluded meet 
not widi Ghziat indeed, nor do leally find 
hia sweetaesa ; theieibre irithin a while, they 
return to the pleasure of ain, and ^mr latter 
*nd privet worse <A«n their begtmrnng, 1 
Pet.| iL dO. Their hearts could not pos- 
aibly be stedfaat, because there was nothing 
to fix them on, in all that wcsfk wherein 
Christ himself was wanting. 

But the truly believing aoul that is brought 
unto Jesus Christ, and festened upon him 
by God's own hand, abides staid on him, 
and depoics not And in these, the Teiy 
belief of the things that are spoken oonoem- 
ing Christ in the gospel, their persuasion of 
divine truth, is rf a higher nature than the 
common consent that is called historical— > 
another knowledge and evidence of the msfe^ 
teriet of the kingdom^ than natural men 
can have. This is indeed die ground of all, 
the very thing that causes a man to rest 
upon C^uist, when he hath a perraasion 
wrought in his heart by the Spirit of Ood, 
that Christ is an dble Redeemer, a sufii. 
dent Saviour, able to save att that oeme to 
Mm, Heb. vii. 26. Then upon (his, the 
beart resolves upon that course x Seeing I 
am persuaded of this, dnt whoso believes in 
Him shall not perishy but have everlasting 
lyis f or, as it is here, sheU n4>t be confound- 
ed i I am to deliberate no longer, this is the 
thing I must do, I must lay my soul upon 
Him, up<m one who is an Almighty Re- 
deemer ; and it does so. Now, these first 
actings of fidth have in themselves an evi- 
dence lihat distinguishes them ftom all that 
is counterfeit, a Hgfat of their own, by which 
the soul wherain they are may discern diem, 
and say, << This is the rifi^t work of fiuth,*' 
espedaUy when Ood shines upon the soul, 
and dears it in the discovery of his own 
work within it. 

And ftrther, they may find the influence 
of faith upon the afl^cdons, pwifying them, 
as our apostle says of it, Acts xv. 9. Faith 
knits the heart to a holy Itead, a pure Lord, 
die spring of purity ; and therefore cannot 
choose but make it pure $ it is a beam ftom 
heaven that raises die mind to a heaveifiy 
temper. Although there axe remains <tf sin 
In a believing soul, yet it is a hated weari- 
some guest there. It is not there as its de- 
light, but as its greatest grief, and malady ; 
of that it is still lamendng and complaining, 
and had rather be rid of it than gain a world. 
Thus it is putified flrom afiTeedng sin. 

So where these are, a qiirituil apprehen- 
sion of the promises, and a cleaving of the 
soul unto Christ, and such a delight in him, 
as makea ain vile and distastefiil, so that the 
heart ii sat against it, and, at the needls 



touched with the loadstone, is still turned 
towards Christ, and looks ^t him in all 
estates : The soul diat is thus disposed, hath 
certainly interest in him; and t fa er efi )re 
ought not to affect an humour of doubting, 
but to condnde, that how unworthy soever 
in itself, yet bdng in him, ii shall not be 
ashamed : Not only it shall never have cause 
to think shame of him, but all its just canse 
of shame in itself shall be tsken away; 
it shall be covered with his righteoosnesi, 
and appear so before the Father. Who must 
not &ink, << If my sins were to be set in 
order, and appear against me, how would 
my hce be filled widi shame! Though 
there were no more, if some thoughts diat I 
am guilty of were laid to my diarge, I were 
utterly ashamed and undone. Oh ! there is 
nothing in myself but matter of shame ; but 
yet in Christ more matter of glorying, who 
endured shame, that we might not be adiam- 
ed. We cannot distrust oursdves enough, 
nor trust enough in him. Let it be right 
iiith, and these is no excess in bdieving. 
Thou^ I have sinned against him, and 
abused his goodness, yet I will not leave 
him ; for whither should I go 9 he, and 
none but he, hath the words ^eternal Ufgy 
John Ti. es. Yea, though he, bdng so 
often offended, shoidd threaten to leave me 
to the shame of my own follies, yet I wiD 
stay by him, and wait ibr a better answer, 
and I know I shall obtain it ; this assurance 
bdng given me for my comfort, that whoeo^ 
ever believes in him shall not be ashamed. 

Vbr. 7. Unto you, thflrefore. which bdiero, he it 
precdoQi; but unto them who be disobedient* the 
Stone which the buiklen dliallowed, the nms b 
made the heed of the comer, 

VxR. 8. And a stone ijf atumbUng, and a ndk of 
offknoe. even to than whkh atmnUe at the wordt 
being d l iobe di en t, irtwreunfeo abo thaywavsap- 
pointed. 

Bebisss all the opposidon that meets 
fiudi within, in our hearts, it hath this 
without, that it rows against the great stream 
of the world's opinion ; and therefore hath 
need, especially where it is very tender and 
weak, to be strengthened against that The 
multitude of unbelievers, and die condde* 
ruble quality of many of them in the woild, 
are condnuing causes of diat very muldtude : 
and the fowness of them that truly bdieve, 
doth much to the keeping of them sdll fow s 
And as this prejudice prevails with them 
diat bdieve not, so it may somedmes assault 
the mind of a bdiever, when he thinks how 
many, and many of diem wise men in the 
world, rc^ct Christ. Whence can this be f 
Particularly the befieving Jews, to whom this 
episde is addressed, might thiuk it strange, 
that not only the Gendles diat were stiaiigcrs 
to true religion, but thdr own nation, that 
was the sdect people of Ood, and had the 
light of his oiides, kept in amongst Asw 



7, &! ^J THE FIRST £t»tSTIiE OF PETER. 



«7 



cnlfy Bhoold yd so many of them, yea, and 
ibe chief of them, be deapisers and hateM of 
JcsM Christ ; and that they that wefe beat 
vnraed ia the law, and so aeemed best able 
to jttdge of the Messiah foretold, should 
haTe peneeuted Christ all his life, and at 
bat put blm to a shameful death. 

That they may Imow, this makes nothing 
against him, nor ought to invalidate their 
£ddi at all, bnt father indeed testifies with 
Christ, and so serves to confinn them in bew 
lienag, the apostle makes use of those pro- 
phetioil seriptures, that foretell the tmbeliftf 
and eoDtempt with which the most would en- 
tertain Christ : as old Simeon speaks of him, 
when he was eetne agreeably to these former 
predictions, That he should be a iiffti ofcon^ 
iradietum, Ixike ii. 34 ; as he was the pro- 
mised sign of salvation to belieTera, so he 
should be a Texy mark of enmities and con- 
ttadictiODS to the unbeliering world; the 
places the apostle here useth, suit with his 
ptesent discourse, and the words dted from 
Isaiah in the former verse, continuing the 
lesemUanoe of a comer'Stone ; diey are 
jMoily taken £tom Ps. cxviii. partly out of the 
eighth ehapter of IsaiiA. 

Unto youy &c.] Wonder not that others 
xeftise him, but believe the more for that, be- 
cause you see the word to be true, even in 
(heir not believing of it ; it is ftilfiUed and 
verified by their very rejecting it as false. 

And whatsoever are the world's thoughts 
csonccnittg Christ, that imports not ; for diey 
know him not : But you diat do indeed be- 
lieve, I dare appeal to yourselves, your own 
iinth that you have of Idm, whether he is not 
predons to you, if you do not really find him 
Ailly answerable to aU that is spoken of him 
in tfie word, and to all that you have accord- 
ingly believed a>neeming him. 

vTe are here, 1. To consider the opposi- 
tion of the persons : And then, 2. Of the 
things spoken of them. 

1. For the opposition of the persons, they 
are opposed under the name of believers, and 
disobedient, or unbelievers ; for the word is 
80 near that it may be token for unbelief, and 
it is by some So rendered : And tiie things 
are fully as near, as die words that signify 
ihemy disobedience aaad unbelief. 1. Unbe- 
lief is itself the grand disobedience. For 
this is die woxk of Ood,*that which the gos- 
pel mainly commands^ John vi. 29, that ye 
believe ; therefbre the apostle calls it the obe- 
dience 0f Jdxthy Rokn. i. 6. And there is 
BocKing indeed more worthy the name of obe- 
dience, than (be subjection of the mind to 
receive and beliew tiiose supernatural truQis 
that the gospel teaches concerning Jesus 
Christ. To obey, so as to have, as &e apos- 
tle speaks, the impreeiion of tliat divine 
pattern stamped upon the heart, to have the 
heart delivered up, as the word there is, and 
laid under it, to receive it, Rom. vi. 17* 



The word here used for disobedience, signi- 
fies p ro p e rt y unpertuoHon ; and nothing 
can more property express the nature of un« 
bdief than that ; and it is the very nature 
of our corrupt hearts : We are children of 
dieobediencef munperstuuibleneet, Eph. ii. 
2, altogether incredulous towards God, who is 
truth itself, and pliable as wax in Satan's 
hand; he works in such what he will, as 
there the apostle expresses. They are most 
easy of belief to him that is the very father 
ofliesy as our Saviour calls him, a liar and 
a murderer from the beginningy John viii. 
44, murdering by lies, as he did in the be- 
ginning. 

2. Unbelief is radically all other disobe- 
dience ; for all fiows from unbelief. This 
we least of all suspect ; but it is the bitter 
toot of all that ungodliness that abounds 
amongst us. A right, and lively persuasion 
of the heart concerning Jesus Christ, alters 
the whole frame of it, casti doten its high 
Iqfty imaginations^ and brings not only tiie 
outward actions, but the very thoughts, unto 
the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor. x. 5. 

II. As for the things spoken concerning 
these disobedient unbelievers, these two tes- 
timonies taken together have in them these 
things: 1. Their rejection of Christ. 2. Their 
folly. 3. Their misery in so doing. 

1. Their rejection of Christ ; Siey did not 
receive him as the Father appointed and de- 
signed him, as the foundation and chief corm 
ner-stone, but slighted him, and threw him 
by as unfit for the building ; and this did 
not only the ignontnt multitude, but the 
builders; they that professed to have the 
skill, and the office or power of building, the 
doctors of the law, the scribes, and phariseesy 
and chief priests, who thought to carry the 
matter by the weight of their authority, as 
over-balancing the belief of those: that follow, 
ed Christ : ** Have any of the rulers believed 
in him ? But this people who know not the 
law are cursed," John vii. 48, 49. 

We need not wonder then, that not only 
the powers of the world are usually enemies 
to Christ, and that the contrivers of policies^ 
those builders, leave out Christ in their 
building, but that the pretended builders of 
the church of God, though they use the name 
of Christ, and serve their turn with that, yet 
reject himself, and oppose the power of his 
spiritual kingdom. There may be wit and 
learning, and much knowledge of the scrip- 
tures, amongst those that are haters of the 
Lord Christ and the power of godliness, and 
corrupters of the worriiip of God. It is the 
spirit of humility, and obedience, and saving 
fkith, that teaches men to esteem Christ and 
build upon him. 

2. But the vanity and folly of those build- 
ers' opinion appears in this, that they are 
overpowered by the great Architect of the 
Church ; his purpose stands ; notwitiistand- 



88 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



( CHAP. XI. 



iiig their rejection of Christ, he is still made 
the head comer.stone. Tliey cast him away 
by their miscensures and reproaches put up- 
on him, and by givin<^ him up to be cruci- 
fied, and then cast into the grave, and ap- 
pointing a stone to be rolled upon Uiis Stone, 
which they had so rejected, that it might 
appear no more, and so thought themselves 
sure : But even from thence did he arise, 
and became the head of the corner. The 
disciples themselves spake, yoa.know, very 
doubtfully of their former hopes, " We be- 
lieved this had been He that would have de- 
livered Israel ;" but he corrected tlicir mis- 
take, first by his word, shewing them the 
true method of that great work, " Ought not 
Christ first to suffer these things, and so en- 
ter into glory ?" Luke xxiv. 21 — 26. And 
then really, by making himself known to 
them, as risen from the dead. When he 
was by these rejected, and lay lowest, then 
he' was nearest his exaltation ; as Joseph in 
the prison was nearest his preferment. And 
thus is it with the Church of Clirist ; when 
it is brought to the lowest and most despe- 
rate condition, then is deliverance at hand ; 
it prospers and gains in the event, by all the 
practices of men against it. And as this 
corner-stone was fitted to be so, by the very 
rejection, even so is it with the whole build- 
ing ; it rises the higher the more men seek 
to demolish it. 

3. The misery of them that bdieve not 
is expressed in the other word, *' He is to 
them a stone of stumbling and a rock of of- 
fence ;" because they wiU not be saved by 
him, they shall stumble and fall, and be 
broken to pieces on him, as it is in Isaiah, 
and in the Evangelists : But how is this ? 
Is He that came to save, become a destroyer 
of men ? He whose name is Salvation, 
proves hd destruction to any ? He docs not 
prove such In himself; his primary and pro- 
per use is the former, to be a foundation for 
souls to build and rest upon : But they that, 
instead of building upon him, will stumble 
and fall on him, what wonder, being so firm 
a stone, thougli they be broken by their fall I 
Thus we see the mischief of unbelief, that as 
other sins disable the law, it disables the 
veiy gospel to save us, and turns life itself 
into death to us. And this is the misery, 
not of a few, but of many in Israel ; many 
that hear of Christ, by the preaching of the 
gospel, shall lament that ever they heard that 
sound, and shall wish to have Uved and 
died without it ; finding so grea( an acces-* 
sion to their misery, by the neglect of so 
great salvation. They are said to stumble 
at tfie word, because the things that are 
therein testified concerning Christ, they la- 
bour not to understand and prize aright ; but 
either altogether slight them, and account 
them foc-lishncsF, or misconctive and pervert 
tlieiu. 



The Jews Btiftnbled at the meanness of 
Christ's birth and life, and the ignominy of 
his death ; not judging of him according to 
the scriptures ; and we in another way think 
we have some kind of bdief, that he is the 
Saviour of the world ; yet not making the 
scripture the rule of our thoughts concerning 
him, many of us undo ourselves, and stum- 
ble and break our necks upon this rock, mis* 
taking Christ and the way of believing $ 
looking on him as a Saviour at large, anil 
judging that enough, not endeavouring to 
make him ours, and to embrace him upon 
the arms of tliat new covenant whereof he 
is Mediator. 

W hereunto also they were aj^wnled,} 
This the apostle adds fbr the further satis- 
faction of believers in this point, how it is 
that so many reject Christ, and stumble at 
him ; telling them plainly, that the secret 
purpose of God is accomplislied in this, hav. 
ing determined to glorify his justice on im- 
penitent sinners, as he shews his rich mercy 
in them that believe. Here it were easier to 
lead you into a deep, than to lead you forth 
again. I will rather stand on the shore, and 
silently admire it, than enter into it. This 
is certain, that the thoughts of God are all 
no less just in themselves than deep and un* 
soundable by us. His justice appears dear, 
in that man*8 destruction is always the fruit 
of his own sin : But to give causes of God*« 
decrees without himself, is neither agreeable 
with the primitive being of the nature of 
Ood, nor with the doctrine of the scriptures ; 
lMs is sure, that God is not bound to give 
us further account of these things, and we 
are bound not, to ask it.' Let these two 
words (as St. Augustine says) answer all, 
What art thou, O man 9 Kom. ix. 20. 
And, O the depth ! Rom. xi. 33. 

Our only sure way to know that our names 
are not in that black line, and to be persuad- 
ed that he hath chosen us to be saved by 
his Son, is this, to find that we have chosen 
him, and are built on him by faith, which is 
the firuit of His love that first chooseth us : 
And that we may read in our esteem of him. 

He is precious,] or your honour. The 
difibrence is small ; you account him your 
glory, and your gain ; he is not aoiy precious 
to you, but preciov^ness itself. He is the 
thing that you make account of, your jeird, 
which if you keep, though you be robbed of all 
besides, you know yourselves to be rich enough. 

To you that believe,] Faith is absolutely 
necessary to make this due estimate of Christ. 

1. The most excellent things, while their 
worth is undiscemed and unknown^ affect ua 
not : Now, faith is the proper seeing fiu 
culty of the soul, in relation to Christ ; that 
inward light must be infused ftom above, to 
make Christ visible to us ; without it, though 
he is beautiful, yet wc arc blind, and there- 
fore cannot love him for that beauty. But 



8,9.1 



THE FIRST BPI8TLE OF PHTER. 



89 



by fifcith we are enabled to see Him that is 
fairer than the children of men^ PsaL xlv. 
2, yea, to see in him the glory of the only^be' 
gotten Son of God, John i. 14, and then it is 
not possible but to account him precious, 
and to bestow the entire affection of cur 
hearts upon him. And if any say to the 
soul, What is thy beloved more than ano- 
ther9 Cant. iii. 9, it willingly lays hold 
on the question, and is glad of an opportu- 
nity to extol him. 

2. Faith, as it is that which discerns 
Christ, so it alone appropriates, or makes 
him pur own. These are the two reasons of 
esteeming and affecting any thing, its own 
worth, and our interest in it ; and faith be- 
gets ^is esteem of Christ by both : first, it 
discovers to us his excellencies, that we could 
not see before; and then it makes him ours, 
giyes us possession of whole Christ, all that 
he hath, and is. As it is fiuth that com- 
mends Christ so much, and describes nis 
comeliness in that Song, that word is the voice 
of fidth^ that expresses propriety, my Well' 
beloved is mine, and I am^ his. Cant. ii. 16 ; 
and these togeUier make him most precious 
to the souL Having once possession of 
him, then it looks upon all his sufferings as 
endured particularly for it, and the benefit of 
them aH as belonging to itself. Sure it will 
say, " Can I choose but account Him pre- 
cious, that suffered shame that I might not 
be ashamed ; and suffered death that I might 
not die ; that took that bitter cup of the Fa- 
ther's wrath, and drunk it out, (hat I might 
be firce from it ?" 

Think not that you believe, if your hearts 
be not taken up with Christ, if his love do 
not possess your soul, so that nothing is pre- 
cious to you in respect of him ; if you cannot 
despise and trample upon all advantages that 
either you have or would have, for Christ, 
and count them, with the great apostle, loss 
and dung in comparison of him, PhiL iii. 
8. And if you do esteem him, labour for 
increase of niith, that you may esteem him 
more ; for as faith grows, so will he still be 
more precious to you. And if you would 
have it grow, turn that spiritual eye fre- 
quently to him that is the proper object of 
it ; ibr even they that are believers may pos- 
sibly abate of their love and esteem of Christ, 
By suffering fiiith to lie dead within them, 
and not using it in beholding and applying 
of Christ. And the world, or some particu- 
lar vanities, may insensibly creep in, and get 
into ihe heart, and cost ihem much pains 
ere they can be tbmst out again. But when 
they are daily reviewing those excellencies 
that are in Christ, which first persuaded their 
hearts to love him, and discovering still more 
and more of them, his love will certainly 
grow, and will chase, away those follies that 
ihe world dotes upon, as unworthy to be taken 
notice of by such h soul. 



Van. 9. But ye are a chosen- generattai, a loval 
priesthood, an holy natkm,. a' pecuUar peopfe; 
•tbAt ye ahcnild shew forth the pcaitei of him who, 
hath caUed you out of rlnrkiMii into bis marvel- 
lous light. 

It is matter of very much consolation and 
instruction to Christians to know their own 
estate, what they are, as they are Christians. 
This epistle is much and often upon this 
point for both those ends ; that the reflect- . 
ing on their dignities in Christ, may uphold, 
them with comfort under suffering for him : 
and also that it may lead them in doing and 
walking as becomes such a condition. Here 
it hath been represented to us by a building, 
a spiritual temple, and by a priesthood con« 
formable to it. 

The former is confirmed and illustrated 
by testimonies of Scripture in the preceding 
verses ; the latter in this vorse, in which, 
though it is not expressly cited, yet it is deac 
that the apostle hath reference to Exod. xix. 
5, 6, where this dignity of priesthood, to- 
gether with the other titles here expressed, is 
ascribed to all the chosen people of God. It 
is there a promise made to the nation of the 
Jews, but under the condition of obedience i 
and therefore is most fitly here appUed by 
the apostle to the believing Jews, to whom 
paxticulariy he writes. 

It is txue, that the external priesthood of 
the law is abolished by the coming of 'this 
great High-Priest ; Jesus Christ being the 
body of an those shadows : But this pro- 
mised dignity of sptritttal priesthood, is so 
far from being annulled by Christ, that it is 
altogether dependent on him ; and therefore 
fiuls in those that reject Christ, althou^ 
they be of that nation to which this promise 
was made. But it holds good in all, of all 
nations that believe, and particularly, says 
the apostle, it is verified in you. You that 
are believing Jews^ by receiving Christ, do 
also receive this dignity. 

As the legal priesthood was removed by 
Christ^s fuMling aU that it prefigured, so he 
was rejected by Uiem that were at his coming 
in possession of that office ; as the standing 
of that their priesthood was inconsistent 
with the revealing of Jesus Christ ; so they 
that were then in it, being ungodly men, 
their carnal minds had a kind of antipathy 
against him. Though they pretended Uieqi- 
selves builders of the Church, and by their 
calling ought to have been so, yet they threw 
away the foundation-stone that God had 
chosen and designed ; and in rejecting it, 
manifested that &ey themselves were rejected, 
of God : But on the contrary, you that have 
laid your souls on Christ by believing, have 
this your choosing him as 'a certain evi- 
dence, that God hath chosen you to be his 
peeuliar people, yea to be so dignified, as to 
be a kingly priesthood, through Christ. 

We have here to consider, 1, The estate 
of Christians, in the words that here do. 



90 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



(chap. It. 



seiibe it 2. The oppoeidoii of it %o the 
itote of unhelieven. 3» The end of it. 

1. The state of ChristianB, a ehoten ge^ 
fMro^um.] PsaL xxir. The PsahnUt Uiere 
i|^s, first of God*8 uniTenal soverdgnty, 
ihon of his peculiar choice ; The eaHh ia 
the LortPg r Bot there is a select company^ 
afjpointed for this hcdy moontdin, described ; 
aod the description is closed thus, TM§ it 
the generation of them that teek him. Thus 
Peat. X. 14) 15. So Exod. xix. 6, Mrfaence 
this is taken ; far aU the earth is mine^ and 
ffaat nation, wMch is a fignze of the elect of 
all nations, God's peculiar, beyond aQ others 
in the world. As men that have great va- 
riety of possessions, yet have usnaUy their 
Speeial^ ddigfat in some one beyond the rest, 
and dioose to reside most in it, and bestow 
moot expense on it, to make it pleasant : 
thus dolh the Lord of the whole esrth choose 
eat to himself from the rest of the world, a 
number that ave a ohoeen generation* 

Ghoosing^here, is the work of effectual call- 
ing, or sevaing<^believers from the rest; for 
it signifies a difference in (heir present estate, 
as do likewise the other words joined with it. 
But this election is altogether conformable to 
that of God's eternal decree^ and is no other 
but the execution or peifiirmanoe of it ; God's 
fiaming of this his building, just according 
to the idea of it which was in his mind and 
purpose befeie all time ; the drawing forth and 
investing of such into this Christian, this 
kingly priesdiood, whose names were express- 
ly written up for it in the book of life. 

Generation.] This imports them to be 
of one race or stock, as the Israelites, who 
were by outward calling the chosen of God, 
Were all the eeed of Abraham aoeordmg to 
thejieth : So they that believe in the JLiord 
Jesus, Bite ehitdren nf the promise, (Gal. 
iv. 28,) Mid all of them by their new birth, 
one people or generation. They axe of one 
aation, belonging to die same blessed land 
of promise, a& dtiiens of the new Jerusalem, 
yea, all children of the same fiunily, whereof 
Jesus Christ, the Root of Jesse, is die stock, 
who is the preat I^ing, and the great High* 
PriesL And thus diey are a rogal priest- 
hootL There is no devolving of his royalty 
m priesthood on any other, as it is in him- 
self for his proper dignity is supreme and 
facommunicable, and there is no succession 
In Ms order, he U^esfor ever, and is Priest 
for ever, PsaL ex. 4, and King for ever too, 
PsaL xlv. 6 ; but they diat axe descended 
hom him, to derive ftom him by that new 
original this double dignity, in that way 
that they are capable of it, to be likewise 
kings and priests as h^ Is bodi. They are 
of the seed-ioyal, and of the holy seed of the 
priesthood, inasmuch as they paxtake of a 
new lif{$ fiNvm Christ x first there is his own 
dignity expressed, then his dignifying us, 



igad, and the Prince <^ the kings of ihe 
ettr^, Rev. 1. 5, and then, as follows, tct. 
d, hath made us kings and priests unta 
G dthe Father, 

A royal priesthood,] That the dignity 
of believers is expressed by these two toge- 
dier, by priesthood and royalty, teaches us 
the wo^ and excellency omP that holy Ainc- 
tion taken properly ; and so, by analogy^ 
the dignity of die miiiistty of the goflpd 
which God hath placed in his Church, in- 
stead of the priesthood of die law \ for there. 
fbre &th diis title of spiritual priesthood 
fidy signify a great privilege and honour 
that Christians are promoted to, and is join- 
ed widi that of kings, because the proper of- 
fice of priesthood was so honourable. Be- 
fbre it was established in one fiunily, the 
chief, die first-bom of each fknily had right 
todiis, as a special honour; and amongst 
the heathens in some places, their princes 
and greatest men, yea, tneir kings, were their 
priests, and universally the performing of 
their holy things, was an employment of 
great honour and esteem amongst them. 
Thon^ human ambition hadi strained this 
consideration too higli, to the favouring and 
founding of a monarchisl prelacy in the 
Christian wodd, yet that abuse of it ought 
not to prejudge as of this due and just con- 
sequence ficom it, diat the holy functions of 
GkI's house have very much honour and 
dignity in them. And the apostle, we see, 
2 Cor. iii. prefers the ministry of the gospel 
to die priesdioc^ of die law. So dien diey 
mistake much that think it a disparagement 
to men that have some advantage of birth or 
wit more than oidinary, to bestow them dius, 
and judge the meanest persons and things 
good enough for this high calling. Sure this 
conceit cannot have place, but in an unholy, 
irreligious mind, that hath either very mean 
thoughts of God, or none. If they that are 
called to this holy service, would themsdvet 
consider this aright, it would not puff diem 
up, but humble them ; comparing their own 
worthlessness with this great work, they 
would wonder at God*s dispensation, that 
should thus have honoured them, as St. 
Paul in this coimexion speaks of himself, as 
less than the least of all saints, Eph. iiL 8. 
So the more a man righdy extols this hit 
calling, the more he humbles himself under 
the weight of it, which should make minis- 
ters very careful to walk more suitably to it 
in eminency of holiness ; for in that consists 
the true dignity of it. 

There is no doubt that this kingly priest- 
hood is the common dignity of all beHevvrs, 
this honour have all the saints ; they aro 
kings, have victory and dominion given 
them over die powers of darkness, and the 
lusts of dieir own- hearts, that held them 
captive, and domineered o/er them before. 



who is himself Ithtjkst'begotten among the Base davish lusts, not bom to command. 



••1 



THE FIRST EPISTJ.E OF PETER. 



M 



yet ast the hard taak-outtten of tmreneirad' 
BUiids ; and tlMm is no true subduing them, 
Irat by the power and Spirit of CIniBt. They 
mfty be qniet £x a while in a natural man, 
but they are then but asleep ; as soon as 
likef stwake ti^sin, they rettam to hurry, and 
driie Urn vitfa liieir wonted Tiolenoe. Now, 
tide is the benefit of receiving the kingdom 
«f duist Into a man's heart, that it mtkcB 



For UU of his ftUneM* ikal we aU recede 
graeefor grat€^ John i. 16 ; and die apostle 
St. Fsol says, 2 Cor. i. 21, diat vte art 
ertabli^ed and anohUed in Christ t It 
was pomed on him as our Head, and runs 
down from him unto us. He is Christ afad 
we are Christians, as partakers of his anoint, 
ing. The oonsecrating oil of the priesis was 
made of die richest ointments and spices, to 



n king himsel£ AU the subfects of shew the predousness of the graces of God's 



Christ «e kings, not only in legard of that 
pnie crawn of glory they hope fiw, and shall 
certainly attain; but in the present, they 
haiv a kingdom, that is the pledge of that 
oter, cf acom ing the world and Satan and 
thcmaehei^ by the power of faidi. Jlf<rns 
fioMi r0»^tiai jMSffMfff, it is true ; but there 
is no mfand truly good, but that wherehi 
Oltrist dweHs^ There is not any kind of 
Sfririt in the werid so noble as that spirit 
diat is in a Christian, die very Spirit of 
Jesus Christ, diat great King, the SpMt o/ 
gUrfy as oar apostle calls it below, chap. iv. 
This is a sine way to ennoble die basest and 
poorest among us ; this royalty takes away 
an attainders. Kid leaves nothing of all that 
Sa past to be laid to our charge, or to disho- 



They are not riiut out ftom God, as they 
before ; hot behig in Christ are brought 
onto hhn, and have fiee access to the 
duune ef his grace, Heb. x. 21, 22. They 
lesemUe in their spiritual state the legal 
priesthood veqr deariy, 1. In their consecra- 
don : 2. In their serviee : and S. In their 
laws of living. 

\gty In their ooosecratian. The Leviti- 
cal priests were washed; therefine this is 
eqnesscd. Rev. i. 5, Ht hath washed us 
im his awn bloody and then it tbUows, mado 
MS kmgs and priats. There was no coming 
near unto Ood in his holy serrices as his 
priests, unless we were cleansed ftom die 
guiltiness 4nd poiKhitiaa of our sins. This 
that pure and purging bbod doth, and it 
alone s No other lava can do it ; no water 
but diat fountain opened for sin and for 
uncieannessy Zech. xiii. 1. No blood, none 
of all that bkiod of legal eacrifices, Heb. ix. 
12, bat only the blood of diat spodess Lamb 
diat tokos awagtho sins of the woridy John 
L 29. So with this, 2. We have diat odier 
eescmony of the priest's consecration, whldi 
waa by sacrifice, as well as by washhig ; for 
Christ at once offered up Umsdf as our sa- 
criiioe, and let out his blood for our wasiiing, 
and widi good reason is that prefixed there. 



Rev. i. 6, He hath loved «s, and then it 
follows, waited us in his bhod. That 
p r acieiis stream of his heart-blood that flow- 
ed, for our washing, told deariy that it was 
a heart foil of unspeakable love that was the 
sonree of it. S. There is anomtittg, name- 
ly, the grsoea of the Spirit oonforred upon 
beficTersy flowing unto them fnrni Christ: 



Spirit diat are bestowed on these spixitoal 
priests; and as that holy oil was not for 
common use, nor for any other persons to be 
anointed widial, save the priests only, so is 
die Spirit of grace a peculiar gift to be* 
lievers. Others might have oosdy ointments 
amongst the Jews, but none of that same 
sort with the consecration oiL Natural men 
may have very great gifts of judgment, and 
learning, and eloquence, and mmtl virtues ; 
but diey have none of this piedous oiU 
namdy, the Spirit of Christ communicated 
to them : No, all their endowments ars but 
common snd pnifime. That holy dl rigni* 
fled particulariy eminency of light and know* 
ledge in the priests ; therefore in Christians 
there must be light They that are grosdy 
ignorant of spiritual things, ars surely not of 
£ii order ; this anofndng is said JO teaoh 
us ail IhinffSy 1 John ii. 27. That hdy 
oil was of a most ftagrant sweet smell, by 
reason of its predous composition ; but much 
more sweet is die smdl of that Sfdrit where* 
with bdieveis are anointed; tliose several 
odoriferous gipces, that are the ingrediento 
of their anointing oil, diat heavenly-minded* 
ness, and meekness, and patience^ and hu- 
mility, and the rest, tiiat difluse a pleasant 
■cent into the places and sodeties where they 
come ; their words, actions, and thdr deport* 
ment, »n<4img sweet of diem. 4. Their 
garments wherein they were inauguratedy 
and which they were after to wear in their 
serrioes, are outshined by that purity and 
hoUness wherewith aU the saints are adorn* 
ed ; but more by that imputed righteousnesa 
of Christ, those pure re6«r that are put upon 
them, wherein diey appear before the Lord, 
and are accepted in his sight. These priests 
are indeed ohthed wi^ righteousnessy ac* 
cording to that of dM Psatanist, PsaL 
cxxxii. 9. 

fi. They were to have die efoings put 
into thdr hands ; from thence, ^Stiiii^ of the 
handy ugnifies consecrating to the priest- 
hood. And thus doth Jesus Christ, that is 
the eonsecrator of diese priests, pat into their 
hands by his Spirit these offerings diey are 
to present unto Ood. He fiimishes them 
widi prayers and praises, and aU other obla- 
tions that are tobe ofoedby them ; he gives 
them themselves, that diey are to oAr a liv- 
ing sacrifice) rescuing than ftom the usurped 
posseanon dT Satan and nn. 

2dfyy Let us condder their services, which 



c^ 



A COMMENIARV UPON 



[cblp. ir« 



were divers : to name tne chief, 1. They 
had charge of the sanctuary, and the vessels' 
of it, and the lights, and were to keep the 
lamps burning. Thus the heart of every 
Christian is made a temple to the Holy 
Ghost, and he himself, as a priest, ' conse- 
crated unto God, is to keep it diligently, 
and the furniture of divine grace in it ; to 
have the light of spiritual knowledge within 
him, and to nourish it by drawing conti- 
nuaUy new supplies from Jesus Christ. 2. 
They were to bless the people, and truly it 
is this spiritual priesthood, the electy diat 
procure blessings upon the rest of the world, 
and particularly on the places where they 
live ; they are daily to offer the incense of 
prayer, and other spiritual sacrifices unto 
God, as the apostle expresseth it above, ver. 
* 5, not to neglect those holy exercises, toge- 
tlier and apart. And as the priests offered 
not only for themselves, but for the people ; 
thus Christians are to extend their prayers, 
and entreat the blessings of God for others, 
especi^y for the public estate of the church. 
As the liord^s priests, they are to offer up 
those praises to God, that are his due from 
the other creatures; which praise him in. 
deed, yet cannot do it after that manner^ as 
these priests do. Therefore they are to offer 
as it were their sacrifices for diem as the 
priests did for the people, and because the 
most of men neglect to do this, and cannot 
do it indeed because they are unholy, and 
not of this priesthood ; therefore should they 
be so muc^ the more careful of it, and dili- 
gent in it. Hov few of these, whom the 
heavens call to by their light and revolution 
that they enjoy, do offer that sacrifice which 
becomes them by acknowledging the glery 
ef God which the heavens declare, Psal. 
zix. 1. This, therefbre, is as it were pat 
into the hands of these priests, namely the 
godly, to do. 

Sdly, Let us consider their course of life. 
We shall find rules given to the legal priests 
stricter than to others, of avoiding legal pol- 
lutions, &c And fbom these tMs spiritual 
priesdiood must learn an exact holy conversa- 
tion, keeping themselves from the pollutions 
of the world, as here it follows, a holy nom 
tion, and that of necessity ; if a priesdbood, 
then holy : Purchased indeed to be a pe- 
cttliar treasure to God, as £xod. xix. 5, at a 
very high rate. He spared not his only Son, 
nor did the Son spore himself: so that these 
priests ought to be the Lord's peculiar por- 
ci(m. All believers are his clergy ; and as 
they are his portion, so he is theirs. The 
priests had no assigned inheritance among 
their brethren, and tlie reason is added, for 
the Lord is their portion ; and truly so they 
needed not envy any of the rest, they had 
the choicest of all, the Lord of all. What- 
soever a Christian possesses in the world, 
yet being of this ^iritual priesthood, he is 



as if he possessed it not, 1 Cor. vii. 30, layv 
little account on it : That which his mind 
is set on, is, how he may enjoy God, and 
find clear assurance that he haUi him for his 
portion. 

It is not so mean a thing to be a Chris* 
tian, as we think ; it is a holy, an honoanu 
ble, a happy estate : Few of us can esteem 
it, or do labour to find it so. No, we know 
not these things, our hearts are not on them, 
to make this dignity and happiness suro un. 
to our souls. Where is that true gre a tnes s 
of mind and holiness to be found, that be- 
comes those that are kings and priests unto 
God ? that contempt of earthly things, and 
minding of heaven, that should be in such ? 
But sure, as many as find themselves indeed 
partakers of these dignities, will study to live 
agreeably to them, and wUl not fail to love 
that Lord Jesus who hath purchased all this 
for them, and exalted them to it ; yea, htmi- 
bled himself to exalt them* 

2. We proceed to the opposition of the 
estate of Christians to that of unbelievers. 
We best discern and axe most sensible of the 
evil and good of things, by comparison. In 
outward condition how many be there that 
are vexing themselves with causeless mur» 
murings and discontents, that if they would 
look upon the many in the world that are in 
a far meaner condition than they, it would 
cure that evil, and make them not only con- 
tent, but cheerful and tliankfuL But the 
difference here expressed is far greater and 
more omsiderable than any that can be in out- 
ward things. Though the estate of a Chris, 
tian is very excellent and precious, and, right, 
ly valued, hath enough in itself to commend 
it, yet it doth and ought to raise our esteem 
of it the higher, when we compare it both 
with the misery of our farmer oonditioD, and 
the continuing misery of those that abide 
still, and are left to perish in that woeful 
estate. We have here both these parallels. 
The happiness and dignity to which they 
are chosen and called, is opposed to the re- 
jection and misery of them that oontintie un- 
believers and rejecters of Christ. 

Not only natural men, but even they that 
have a spiritual life in them ; yet when they 
forget themselves, are subject to look upon 
the things that are before them with a natu- 
ral eye, and to think hardly, or at least 
doubtftilly, concerning God's dispensation ; 
beholding the flourishing and prosperities of 
the ungodly, together with their own suflTer- 
ings and distresses, thus, Psal. Ixxiii. &e. 
But when they turn the otlier side of the 
medal, and view them with a right eye, and 
by a true light, they are no longer abused 
with those appearances. When they Gan-> 
sider unbelievers as strangers, yea, enemies 
to God, and slaves to Satan, held fost in the 
chains of their own impenitency and unbe- 
lief, and by those bouud over to eternal death { 



VKH. 9.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



93 



snd then see tliemaelves called to the fiber* 
tiee and dignities of the aons- of God, par- 
takcsB of the honour of the only-begotten Son 
on whom they h«ve believed, made by him 
khtfft and priests unto God the Father, 
dien sure they faftve other thooghts. It 
Bsakea them no more envy, but pity the un. 
godly^ and acooitnt all Uieir pomp, and all 
their poeseasiont, what it is indeed, no other 
hot 8 glistering mystery, and themselves 
h^ppy in all estates. It makes them to say 
with David, ^^ the lines have fallen to me in 
a pleasant place, I have a goodly heritage.'* 
It makes them digest all th^ si^SMngs and 
disgraces with patience, yea with jo^r, and 
think more of praising than complaining, of 
shewing Ihrth His honour who hath lo ho- 
nonred tfaem ; especially considering the free- 
nets of his grace, that it was that alone made 
the difierenoe, calling them altogether unde- 
servedly iiom that same darkness and misery 
in whidi unbdieveis are deservedly left. 

Now the third thing here to be spoken to, 
is the end of their calling, to shew f^ praise^ 
&C. And that we may the more prize the 
reasonableness of that their happy estate to 
which Qod hath exalted them, it is express- 
ed in other terms, which therelbre we will 
first eoosider, and then the end. 
. To magnify the grace of God the more, 
we have here, 1. Both the terms of this 
notion, or change from whence, and to what 
it is ; 2. The principle of it, the calling of 
Ood. 

I. For the terms of this motion : 1. The 
term from whence it is, From darkness. 
There is nothing more ususlI, not only in 
divine but in human writings, than to bor. 
TOW outward sensible things to express things 
istdlectual ; and amongst such expressions 
there is none more frequent than that of light 
and darkness, transfrrred to signify the good 
and evil estate of man : As sometimes for 
his outward prosperity or adversity, but 
especially fiir things proper to his mind, the 
mind is adled liffht, because the seat of truth, 
snd truth is most fitly called light, being the 
chief beauty of the rational world, as light is 
of the visible. And as the light, because of 
that its beauty, is a thing very refreshing and 
oomfbrtaMe to them that behold it, as Solo- 
mon says. It is a pleasant thing to see the 
eun ; 80 is truth a most delightful thing to 
the soul that rightly apprehends it. 

This may hdp us to conceive of the spi- 
ritual sense in which it is here taken. The 
estate of lost mankind, is indeed nothing but 
darkness, being destitute of all spiritual truth 
and comfinrt, tending to utter and everlasting 



. And it is so, because by sin the soul is se- 
paiate from Qod, who is the first and high- 
eat light, that primitive truth, as he is light 
m himself: As the apostle St. John tells 
KUB| 'God is light J and in him there is no 



darkness at all ; exprening tie exceHeney 
and purity of his nature : so he is light rela- 
tively to the soul of man, PsaL xxvii. The 
Lord is my light, says David. • ^ 

And the soul being made capable of divine 
light, cannot be happy without it : Give it 
what other light you will, still it is in dark- 
ness, so long as it is without God, being the 
peculiar light and life of the sooL And as 
truth is united with the soul in apprehend- 
ing it, and light with the visive fitculty, so 
that the soul may have God as its U^t, it 
must of necessity be in union with God. 
Now sin hath broke that union, and so cut 
off the soul from its light, and plunged it 
into spiritual darkness. 

Hence all that confusion and disorder in 
the soul which is ever the companion of 
darkness, Tohu vahohu, as at first, when 
Darkness was upon the face of the deep. 
Gen. i. 2. Being ignorant of God, and of 
ourselves, it £>llows that we love not God, 
because we knoto ?Um not : Yea, though we 
think it a hard word, we are haters of God ; 
for not only doth our darkness import igno- 
ranee of him, but an enmity to him, because 
he is light, and we are darkness. And being 
ignorant of ourselves, not seeing our own 
vileness, because we are in the dark, we are 
pleased with ourselves ; and having left God, 
do love ourselves instead of God. Hence 
are all the wickednesses of our hearts and 
Ihres, which ate no other but, instead of obey- 
ing and pleasing God, a continual sacrific- 
ing to those gUlulim, those base dunghill- 
gods, our own lusts. For this the apostle 
gives as the root of all those evils, 2 Tim. iii. 
2, covetous boasters, &c. Because in the 
first place, lovers of themselves, therefore 
proud, &c. and lovers of pleasures more 
than of God ; and this self-love cannot sub- 
sist without gross ignorance, minds so dark- 
ened that we cannot withal see what we are : 
For if we did, it were not possible but we 
would be far of another mind, very far out 
of loving and liking with ourselves. Thus 
our souls being filled with darkness are like- 
wise full of undeanness, as that goes along 
too with darkness ; they are not o^y dark as 
dungeons, but withal filthy as dungeons use 
to be. So Eph. iv. 18, '^ Understandings 
darkened, alienated from the life of God ;** 
and therefore it is added, ver. 19, they ''give 
themselves over unto lasciviousness, to wurk 
aU undeanness with greediness." Again, in 
this state they have no light of solid com- 
fort. Our great comfbrt here is not in any 
thing present, but in hope ; now, being with- 
out Christ and without God, we are without 
hope," Eph. ii. 12. 

And as the estate fVom whence we are 
called by grace, is worthily called darkless ; 
so, 2dlyy that to which it calls us deserves as 
well the name of light. As Christ likewise, 
that nxne to work our deliverance, is fre- 



94 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[aiAP. ir« 



lyicMlf.wciakdiiimipMKy JclttLl^aiid 
dMwfacw, not only in leffurd of hit om 
mttaty beiag Qod equal wUk dM Falhav 
sod therefore light M he i» G^d ^Gady and 
liMRfim £^A< <i^ /v*' »* ^«^ idattTo to 
men, John L 4, <A«^ /^Ai «Mt iW /i^^ qf 
M#i» f as he ift atyled 1h§ Word and IFit- 
cbm 4^ Atf Paih€r^ not only in legard of hit 
own kaowlfldgt, but as xeteaUng Urn vntei 
us, John 1. 18 ; 1 GeK.i. Si, eomparsd wkk 
ver. 30; and he is styled by MslacU, iv. 2, 
HU ^Tttn (if r^Alsmitfiess* Nov, the tonis 
not only a luminous body, but ■ 
giving M^t unto ihs woM, Oen. i !& 

He k our Hghiy opposed to sOI Mmf ^ 
darknetSy to the daik shadovs of the cane, 
monial law, iHdch possibly aie hsn meant, 
m pact of that darkness, fioin which the 
Sfpostle writes that «hese Jews wen 'delivsnd 
also by the knowledge of Christ : When he 
eome^ the day brokoy and the ehadoweJUm 
mvQif. He is likewise opposed to the dark- 
ness of the Gentile superstitiims and idol*, 
tries; thevfere these two are joined by old 
Simeon, Luke ii. 32, " A light to lighten the 
Gentilefl, and the g&ofy of his people IszaeL" 

And to sH of both Aat believe, he is light, 
opposed to the ignoronoey slaverp^eMtA nueefy 
of their natural estate, teaching them by his 
Sphit the things of God, and re-uniCsng tiiem 
widi God, who U the lig^t of the souL « I 
sfloi, (says he,) the light of the world, he 
that follows me shall not walk in daritness,'* 
John viii. 12. 

And It is AaX mysterious union of the soul 
with God in Christ, whidi a natural man so 
little understands, tliat is the cause of all 
that epirihtal light qf grace that a believer 
does enjoy. Ther^ is no right knowledge 
of God, to man onoe fiillen from it, but in 
Ms Son ; no comfort in beholding God, but 
through him ; nothing but just anger and 
wrath to be seen in God*8 looius but thsou^ 
him, m whom he it voeU pleased. The gos- 
pel shews us the light of the knowledge of 
GiNl, 2 Cor. iv. 6, but it is in thefSoe of 
JoMue Christ : therefore the kingdom dT light, 
opposed to that of darkness, Cd. i. 13, is 
ealled the kingdom of his dear Sony <n the 
Son qfhis love. 

There is a spirit of light and knowledge 
flows from Jesus Christ into the soule of 
beUevers, tliat acqiuunts them with the my- 
steries c^ the kingdom qf Gody which oan« 
not odierwise be known. And this Spirit of 
knowledge is withal a Spirit tf holinese; 
for purity and holiness is likewise signified 
by Uiis light. Ue- removed that huge daric 
body of sin that was betwixt us and the 
Father, and eclipsed him iVom us ; the light 
of his countenance sanetifieih by truth t it is 
a light that hath heat with it, and hath in- 
iluence upon the ai&ctions, warms them to* 
wards God and divine things : this darkness 
here Ls indeed the shadow of death ; and so 



tb^ thai an wUhouS Chriat, tffl he visit 
then, an said ioeiiin dorkneea and in ike 
§hadom^deaihyUikeL79, SothialifAt 
is IJjfe, JohttL 4^ doth enlighten and enliven, 
begnta new actions and motions in tlse teoL 
The right noSien OmU a man InA of thinga 
as they an, wodcs upon him, and stin him 
aeeoB^B^y; so this light diaeori 
to himself and lets him an hie 
fflthinani it niakn him lealhe hinndf, anl 
fly hom and rm out of himaslf. And tin 
enceikocy he aesa in God, andhlnSonJeaue 
Christ, by this new light, intens hbhont 
wish their love, fiHs him with ntiniaHiwi of 
the Iioid Jesae, and makn tilie world and aU 
thinga in it that he 
and moan in his eyea^ 

Then from tfaSa Hght aiiaea sfirknai jay 
sod oamfurt $ so li|^ signifles ihequendy, 
aa in that of the Psafaniat^ (the latftsr danae 
espoonda the fonnee,) PaaL zeviL II, LigkM 
is sown for the righteomey atsd jey ftr Me* 
upright in Aeorl. As this kitsgdem ^ 
God's dear Sony that is, this Ungpdon of 
light, hath righfeeousnen ia tt; so k hath 
peaee and joy in the Holy CU^eaiy Ronu 
ziv. 17. It is a iUn prqudice the wodd 
hath taken np against religion^ Ant it is n 
aour melanchely thing : Then ia ne tnly 
lightsome and oomforteble lifo hot It AH 
otfiers, have they what they will, live In dark, 
nen ; and ia not that icoly aad and eonflat^ 
less ? Would you think it a pieassnt life» 
though you had fine dothes and good dtet, 
never to sn the son, bit still to be kept In 
a dungeon with them ? Thua are dMy dmt 
live in worldly honooi and plenty, but sdD^ 
without God, they an in continittl 
with all their enjoyments. 

It is true^ the light of bsliaivsn is not ! 
perfect, and thenfon their joy is not pedbct 
neither; it Is sometinMS ever-douded ; but 
the comfort is this, that it it an everhutinfl^ 
light, it shall never go out in dsifrnsss, as ta 
said in Job zviii. 6, of the lighi ^ tha 
wicked, and it shall widiin a whtte be pas. 
fected. There is a bright morning witheni 
acloudthvJt shsH arise. The ssimts have 
not only light to lead them In their jonrwf 
but much purer light at home, an inherit 
anee in light, CoL i. 12. The haid n^iese 
their inheritanee lieth Is ftiU of lig^ and 
their inheritance itself ie Hght ; for the vU 
sion of God for ever, is that hdledtastoe. 
That dly hath no need of die sun, nor of 
the moon, to shine in It, for " the ^ocy of 
the Lord doth lighten i^ and the I^mib la 
the light thereof," Rev. xxl. 23. Aa we 
said, that inoroated light is dtt happinen of 
the son], the beginnings of it are our ha|ip&» 
nen begun ; they an besms of k sent flem 
above, to lead us to the fountain and Adnaaa 
of it. « With thee (nys Dwid) is the 
fimntain of lift, and in thy light diaU w* 

Ught," PsaL xxnvi. 9. 



«■! 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



M 



. TheK am twa libin^ apolcMi «f this Ugbt, 

to cwnmiaid it : his mtmrvelknu ligki ; 

thftt it is aftar a peeuliw manMr CM*a, and 

dim that it ia marfUlkm. AH tidbt ia 

^om him^ die light of aaoae, and naft of 

naaoQ; theicfine he ia caOad the Faihtr tf 

UghUy Jam. i. 17. But diift %&< oC 

ia after a iwculiar naimei hia, hta^ a 

above the nadi of natuse, inftiaed into the 

ioaly in a aupwnatural wBy, the Bf^ of the 

elect woddy wiwre God specially wd gntfi«i 

ouly lealdea. Natvoal meD may knew veiy 

mvc^ in natmal things, and it nay be ik 

•npeoMtiixal tbingi^ aftei a natiual maawD. 

They may be fioIL of school-divinity^ aad 

able to diaconiae of God aad hia &« Cluwi^ 

and the mystery of xedemption, 4w*» and yet 

they -vant thia peculiar* light, by which 

Christ ia known, to believers. They may 

speak of him ; but it is in the dadk \ they 

see himnot, and therefoie they love hiw not. 

The 11^^ they have, ia aa the lig}it cf soaoe 

things that shine oady in the nig^t, »a o(dd 

glow.wanii light, that hath no heat widi it 

at alL 

Whtteas a soul that hath soipe of hia 

Hghiy Gtod's peculiar light, oemmunicated 

to it, sees Jesus Christ, and lovea and de« 

lights in him, and walks with him* , A lit* 

de of this li^t is worth a gieat deajl, yea, 

nune worth dum all that other eommoft, ape- 

coladve^ and discoursing knowledge, that 

the greatest doctors can attain unto* It is 

of a more excellent kind and oiiginalf it is 

ftoBk heaven, and you know that one beam 

of the sun is more worth than the light of 

ten thousand torches together ; it is a pure 

undecaylng heavenly light, wheieaa the other 

is gross and earddy, (be it never so great,) 

and lasts but a while. X^et us not dierefore 

diiidc it incredible, tlutt a poor unlettered 

Christian may kQpwmore of God in the best 

kind of knowledge, than any, the wisest and 

moat leazoed, natural men. can do ; fSsr the 

one knows God only by man's Ijght, the 

other knows him by his own light, and duA 

is the only right knowledgeb As the sun 

cannot be seen but by its own light, so nei- 

dier can God be savingly known, but by his 

own revealing. 

Now, this light being so pecullazly God's, 
no wonder if it be marveUout* The com. 
moD light of die wodd is so, though because 
of its commonness, we think not so. The 
liord is marvellous in wisdom, in power, in 
all his wodcs of creation and providence: 
But above all, in the workings of his grace. 
This light is unknown to the wodd, and so 
m0rveUou$y in the rareness of beholding it, 
that there be but a few that partake of it. 
And to them that see it, it is marvellous ; 
because in it they see so many eaucellent 
things that they knew not before : as if 
a man were bom and brought up till he came 
to the yean of undezstancUng in a dungeon, 



he had navev aeen Ught, and wi 
btattght fMs OB a aoddan $ ovy not to need 
dMkt imaglaatkMi, take the man that was hem 
biUnd, at hia fint sight, afiar Cfaiiat had 
eusad bun, vdMt wonder^ diinh we, wmdd 
aeiso i^on him, t» bdu>ld on a sodden die 
beauty af dda visible world, eifiecially of 
that Bwi, anl tiMit Kglit,, that makea it both 
viaiUe and beautiful t But much more mat* 
tea of admiaarion ia there in thia light, to the 
soul that ia brw^t newly ftom the dark- 
aeaa of onErapt nataze ; they aec aa it were a 
new vfldd, and in it auoh wonden of tha 
rich grace and love of God, such mafrhlraa 
woKth ia Jeaas Christ, die Sun of ri|^teoua« 
neas, diat their aonla are filled with admin* 
lion: Aadif thialightofgncebesomofv 
veUougj how much more marffeOoui ahaU 
the l«ght of glory be in which it ends ! 

Beoce, leMn, 1.. To esteem high^ of the 
goapd, in whidi tMs light shines unto ua ; 
the apostle eaUa it thaefine die ghrioma 
G0spil^ 2 Cot. iv. 4. Sure we have ne 
cause to be aahamed o^it, bat of ourselves^ 
that we are ao unlike it. 

2. Think not, you that are i^oaaly igno* 
laat of God, and his Son Christ, and themys- 
teries of salvation, diat you, have any pardon 
aa yet in his giaae ; fi>r the firat chaiaoter of 
hia mnewed image iA die soul is li^it, as it 
was hia first work in the natural or matwial 
world. What avails it ua to live in the noon* 
day lig^ ef the gospel, if our hearts be still 
shut against it, and so we be nothing but 
darkness within ? as a house that is dose 
shot up^ aad hath no entry for light, though 
it be day without, still it ia nif^t within. 

8. Cooflider your delight in the works of 
darknass, andbe afiiaid of that great condenu 
nadon, Thu ia the condemnation ef tht 
worldy thai light i» come into t/, and mon 
love darkness rather than lights John iii* 19; 
4. You that are indeed partakeia of thia 
happy change, let your hearts be hahitadona 
of light: Eph. v. U, « Have no-fsUbwahip 
widi die unfruitful werics of dwrfcufya, but 
rather reprove them." « Study muidi to in* 
csease in spiritual light and knowledge, and 
withal in holiness and, obedience. If your 
light be this light of God, truly spiritual 
light, these will acsompany it Consider 
the rich love of God» and account His light 
manelhusy aa in itael^ so in this^ that he 
hath bestowed it on you; and seeing gou 
were onee darkneuy but nouf ate Hght in tha 
Lord, I beseech you, nay the apostle, and 
in him the Spirit of God does il^ Walk aa 
children qf the Hght, Eph^ v. & 

But, to pvooeed to speak to the other paiti 
of this verse, under the aeo<md head, tha 
Principle <^f thie Calling* 

It is known and confessed to be a chief 
point of wisdom in a man, to consider what 
he is, ftom whom he hadi his being, and to 
what end. When a Christian hath thoiighi 



96 



A COMMENTARY UPOJi 



lottAv. n» 



on this in Iur natural being, as he Ift a man, 
he hath the same to consider o^er again of 
his Bpiiitnal being, as he is a Christian, and 
ao a new creature. And in this notion, all 
the three are very dearly repreaented to him 
in these words. 1. What he is. First, by 
these titles of dignity in die iifst words <«f 
this verse : And again, by^an estate of ligtit 
in the but clause of it. 2. Whence a 
Christian hath this excellent being, is very 
dearly expressed here. His hath called. 
That God, who is the Author of all kind of 
being, hath given you this, eailed you from 
dar£ns9$ ifUo hit marvellotu light. If you 
be a chosen ffeneroHon, it is He that hath 
chosen you, 1 Pet. i. 2. If you be a royal 
priesthood, you know that it is He diat hath 
anointed you. If a holy nation, he hath 
sanctified you, John xvii. 17> If a peeu^ 
liar or purchased people, it is He that hath 
bought you, 1 Cor. vi. 20. All are in this 
calling, and they are all one thing. 3. To 
what end, to shew forth his praises. Of 
the first of these, ift all the several exptes- 
sions of it, we have spoken before ; now are 
to be considered the other two. 

II. He hath called you,\ They that 
live in the sodety, and profess the feith of 
Christians, are called unto light, the light of 
the gospd that shines in the church of 6rod. 
Now, this is no small favdur and privilege, 
while many people are left in darkness and 
in the shadow of deaths to have this light 
arise upon us, and to be in the region of it, 
the Chuxdi, the Goshen of the world ; ibr 
by this outward light, we are invited to this 
happy state of saving inward light, and that 
Is here to be understood as the means of this. 
These Jews that were called to the profession 
of the Christian faith, to whom our aposde 
writes, were even in that called unto a light 
hid fiom the rest of their nation, and f^m 
many odier nations in the world : But be- 
cause the aposde doth undoubtedly describe 
here die lively spiritual state of true be- 
lievers ; therefore, this calling doth furdier 
import the effectual work of conversion, 
making the day-light of salvation, not only 
without but within them, the day-star to 
arise in their hearts, as he speaks, 2 Pet. 
i. 19. When the sun is arisen, yet if a man 
l>e lying fast in a dark prison, and in a deep 
sleep too, it is not day to him ; he is not 
called to light, till some open the doors and 
awake him, and bring him forth to it. This 
Ood doth, in the calling here meant. That 
which is here termed calling, in regard of 
die way of Ood*s working with the soul, is, 
in regiurd of die power of it, called a reseu- 
ing, and bringing forth of die soul ; so the 
aposde St. Paul speaks of it. Col. i. 13, 
Delivered from the power of darkness, and 
translated to the kingdom of his dear Son. 
That delivering and translating is this call^ 
mg i and it is fiom the power of darkness, 



a feieible power, diat detuns the soul cap- 
tive : As there are chains of eternal darkm 
ness, upon damned spirits, which shall never 
be taken off, wherdn they are said to be re- 
sertfed to the judgment of the great day ; 
so there are chains of spiritual darkness upon 
the unconverted soul, that can be taken off 
by no other hand, but the powerful hand (k 
Ood. He calls the sinner to come forth ; 
and withal causes, by the power of his voice, 
the bolts and fetters to fall off, and enables 
the soul to come forth into the light. It is 
an operative word that effects what it bids, 
as that in die creation. He said. Let there 
he light, and it was light. To which the 
i^Msde hath reference, when he sa3rs, God, 
who commanded the light to shine out of 
darkness, hath shined into your- hearts, 
2 Cor. iv. 6. God calls man, he works witK 
him indeed, as widi a reasonable creature : 
but sure he likewise works as himself, as an 
Almighty Creator. He works strongly, and 
sweedy, with an almighty easiness. One 
man may call anodier to this light ; and if 
there be no more, he may call long enough 
to no purpose ; as they tell of Mahomet*s 
mirade that misgave, he called a 'mountain 
to come to him, but it stirred not But his 
call diat shakes and removes the mountains, 
doth in a way known to himself, turn and 
wind the heart which way he pleasedi* The 
tfoice of the Lord is powerful and full of 
majesty, Psal. xxix. 4. If he speaks once to 
the heart, it cannot choose but follow him, 
and yet most willingly chooses that. The 
workings of grace (as oil, to which it is often 
compared) do insensibly and silcndy pene- 
trate, and sink into the soul, and dilate 
themselves through it. That word of his 
own calling disentangles the heart from all 
its nets (as it did die disciples) to follow 
Christ. That call that brought St. Matthew 
presendy from his recdpt of custom, puts off 
the heart f^xnn all its customs and recdpts 
too; makes it reject gains and pleasures, 
and all that hinders it to go after Christ. 
And it is a call that touches the soul so, as 
the touch of Elijah^s mantle, that made 
Elisha follow him. Go back, said he, for 
what have I done unto thee 9 yet he had 
done so much, as made him forsake all to go 
with him, 1 Kings xix. 20. And this every 
bdiever is most ready to acknowledge, that 
knows what the rebellion of his heart was, 
and what his miserable love of darkness was ; 
that the gracious, yet mighty call of God 
was that which drew him out of it, and 
thcrefbre he willingly assents to that. 

Which leads us to the third thing to be 
spoken of, namely, the end of this calling 
and state of Christians, which is to show 
forth his praise, who hath so merciftdly, 
and so powerfully, called them from so mi. 
serable to so happy an estate. 

For, 1. dus is God^s end in caUing us, *o 



TSB. 9«1 



THE FIB8T IPISTLE OF PETER. 



97 



Mmniniiiiaite hit goodneH to uty that aoth/bihokfy but tbry cm neilhes tee him tior hU 
gkny of it may letnrn to himtelf. Thelholiiiesai but when they paocive some li 



highest agent caanot work but finr the highest 
end ; so that, as the apostle speaks, when Ood 
would confinn fais covenant by an oath, he 
swan bif h%m»elf^ because he aould swear 
by DO greater ; so in all things he mnst be 
the end of his own actions; becansa then is 
no greater, nor better end, yea none .by in- 
inite odds so great or good ; psorticiilaily in 
die calling and exalting a mmdMf of jbst 
mankind to so great honoar and happiness ; 
both in designing that great work and in 
pecfiDDBing it, he afans at. tba opening, and 
dedaiing of his rtoh gtami 6r the gkvy of 
it : As the apofttla 8t Pssik teUs ns otkce 
and again, Eph. i^ 6, 12. 

2. As this is Ood's and, it ought to be 
ooiBy and therefiice ou» baoaose It is his. 
And Uk this rtKf yargom, both hen and 
cistwhere, are we pnt in ndnd el it, that we 
msy be true la his end, and intend it with 
him t This is his purpose in odling us, and 



it ia our grutf duty,- being so call- 
to dedars Us pcaises^ All things and 
shail pay ikis tnbmUi efen they 
diat see most unwilling : But ^e happiness 
of his chosen is, that they are active in it, 
othcB aie passive only. Whereas the' rest 
liavehispmiaB wieited ftmn them, ihe^ do 
dedsie it cheerflilly, as the glorious angds 
do. As the gospel brings them glad tidings 
of pence fton Ood, and declares to them 
that knre and mercy that is in him, they 
smedler it not, but prodaim it ; they dedaie 
It, and aet ftrdi the gloiy of It with their 
utmost power snd ddU. 

There be In this two things r 1. Not only 
to speak upon all occasions to the adviuitage 
of hki grace, but that the fnacM of their ac- 
dona be such as doth tend to the exalting of 
God : And 2. That in those actions they 
do Intend this end, or set up this fbr their 



1. Thefr welk^ and actions being confbr- 
mable to that high and holy estate to which 
they are called, do commend and praise their 
Lord, that hath called them to it. The 
virtues diat are in them tell us of His vir- 
tues, as brooks lead us to their springs. 
Then faith glorifies God, when a Christian 
can quietly repose and trust on God, in a 
matter of very great difficulty, wherein there 
la no other thing to 'stay him but God alone ; 
Ads deielaies, that there is strength enough 
in God that bears him up, that there must 
be in him that real abundance of goodness 
and trudi that the word q>eaks of him, 
** Abraham believed and gave glory to God," 
Rom. iv. 20. This is that wMch a believer 
can do; to declare the truth of God, he 
relies on it. ** He that believes sets to his 
scpl that God is true," John iii. 33. So 
their holiness is for his praise. Men 
that then is a God who is infinitely 



neamenta of it m the faces of his children^ 
which aie no ochen, this may convince them' 
that its pesfeetaan, which must be some* 
where, can be nowhere dse but in their 
heavenly Fadier. When those that are his 
pecnMar planes, brhig fbrth the fruits of ho- 
liness, which naturally th^ yielded not; it 
testifiea a snperdatioal work of His hand 
that planted them, and the more they ai^ 
fruitful the greater is bis praise. Herein 
(says our Saviour, John zv. 6,) is pour 
hmweniy Futher glorified, ihtU pe Mnp 
forth ikueh fruit. Were it not the con- 
science of this duty to God, and posaibly 
the necessity of their statichi aiid calling, it 
may be, some Christian had rather altoge- 
ther lode up, and keep within him any grace 
he hath, than let it appear at all, considering 
some hazards he azid it run in the dis- 
covery; and, it n&ay be,- could take some 
pleasure in the world's mistakes, and dis- 
esteem of him. But, seeing both piety and 
charity require the acting of graces in con- 
verse with men, that whidi hypocrisy doth 
fbritself, a real Ghristian may, and 'should 
do for God. * 

2. The' other thing mentioned ais making 
up tliis rule, will give the difference ; that 
not' only what 'we Speak and do, should be 
such as agrees with this end, but that in so 
speaking and doing, our eye be upon this 
end : That all our Christian conversation 
be directly intended by us, not to cry up ota 
own virtues, but to glorify God, and his 
virtues, to declare His praises, who hath 
called us. 

Let pour light, says our Saviour, Matt. 
V. 16, shiney and shine hefwe men too g 
that is not forbidden, yea it is commanded : 
But it is thus commanded. Let pour light 
90 shine before men, that thep seeing pour 
good works, yourselves as little as may be, 
your works more than yourselves (as the sun 
gives us its light, and will scarce sufier us to 
look ujwn itself,) map glorifp whom ? You P 
No; but pour Father who is in heaven. 
Let pour light shine, it is given for that 
purpose, but let it shine always to the glory 
of the Father of lights. Men that seek 
themselves, may share in the same public 
kind of actions with you : but let your secret 
intention, which God eyes most, sever you. 
This is the seal and impression that a sincere 
andhumble Christian sets upon all his actions, 
the glorp of God t He useth all he hath, 
espedally all his graces, to His praise that 
gives it ; and is sorry he hath no more for 
fills use ; and is daily seeking after more, 
not to bring more esteem to himself, but more 
honour to God. It is a poor booty to hunt 
after that, namely, an airy vain breath of 
men. The best things in them, their solid- 
est good, is altogether vanity. How much 

G 



^8 



A COMM£NTAEY UPON 



[CBAP. II. 



nofe tliast which is lif^tett and vaiiiett In 
' them. This is the mind that is in evety 
Chiistiany in all his ways to deny himself, and 
-be willing to ahuae liimself to esalt his Mas- 
ter ; to be of St. Paul's temper, that zegasd. 
I ed not himself at aH, honour or dishonour, 
pison or liberty, life at death, content he was 
^ A any thing, so Christ might be magni^ 
Jiedy PhiL 1. 20. 

And as eroy godly mind must be tihna af- 
ftcted, especially the ministers of the gospel, 
they diat axe not only called with others to 
partake of this marvellous light, bat are inn 
vpedal manner to hold it forth to othen, how 
do pure affections become them, iu|d ardent 
desiies to promote His giory who hath so 
called them I A mah for your praiseordis- 
praise of us I only zeoelTe Jesus Christ, and 
esteem highly of him, and it is enough. 
That is dM Uiing we give to some of you. 
We preach not oureelvety says die apostle, 
hut Chriaf Jeetu the Lordy 2 Cor. iv. 6. 
That is our errand, not to catch, either at 
base gain, or yain applause for oundtres, but 
to exak oor Lord Jesus in the hearts of men. 
And to those that are so minded there is a 
reward abiding them, of sudi riches, and 
h<mour, as they would be very loath to ex- 
change for any thing to be had amongst 
men* 

But, in this station, this is the mind of 
cfvery one that loves die Lard Jettis, most 
heartily to make a sacrifice of himself, aiSd 
nil he is and hath ; means, and esteem, and 
life, and all to His gloiy, that humbled him- 
self so low, to exalt us to these digniUes, to 
make us kings and priests unto God^ 

It is most just, seeing we have our orotcm« 
^tom him, and that he iath set Uiem on our 
heads, that we take them in our hands, and 
throw th«m down before his throne. All 
our graces (if we have any) are his free gift, 
and are given as die rich garments of this 
spiritual priesthood, only to atdreus suitably 
for this spiritual sacrifice of his praises : Aj 
the coady vesture of the high-priest under 
the law, was not appointed to make him gay 
for bitfiajJfj but to decorate him for his luily 
service, and to commend as a figure of it the 
perfect holiness wherewith our great High- 
Priest Jesus Christ was clodied. What 
good thing have we, that is not from the 
hand of our good Ood ; and receiving all 
from him, and after a special manner spiii- 
tual blessings, is it not reasonable that all 
we have, but diose spiritual gifts especially, 
should dedare his praise, and his only ? 
David did not grow big with vain thoughts, 
and lift up himself, because Ood had lift 
him up; but cries out, Psal. xxx. 1, / will 
eatol thesy because th*nt hast lifted me tip. 
The visible heavens, and all the beauty and 
all the lights in tlirm, speak nothing but 
His glory that framed them, as the Psalmist 



tbiae tpfailttal li^la, hia eaUed 
he hath made light so peculiarly for that 
purpose, dieae stars t» Ms right handy do it 
mnch more ? Oh ! let it be thus widi us 9 
die more he gives, be atiU the more humble^ 
and let him have the return of more ghiry^ 
and let it go endxe to him : It is idl hia 
due, and in doing diua, we shall still gxov 
richer ; for where he sees the most foithftd 
servant, diat purloins nothing, bnt improvet 
all (o his roaater^ advantage, auie him he 
will tmst with most. 

And as it is thus bodi most doe In Ood, 
and most profttsble for ourselves, in all to 
seek his praises ; so it is the moat exoeOeBl 
and generous intent^ to have the same thought 
widi €h>d, the same purpoae that ishis, and 
to aim no lower dian at his giny ; whereas 
it is a base poor diing for a man to sedc 
Mmsdf, for below that royal dignity that in 
here put upon Christians, and that priesthood 
joined with it Under the law, they that 
were squint-eyed were incapable of the priest* 
hood, Levit. xxi. 20 ; truly this squinting 
out to our own interest, looking aside to thaty 
(in God's affidrs especially,) so defoima die 
nee of the soul, that it nu^es it altogedier 
unworthy die honour of this spiritual priest* 
hood. Oh I this is a large task, an infinite 
task. The several creatures bear thehr part 
in this ; the sun says somewhat, and moon 
and stars, yea, die lowest have some share in 
it ; the very pbmts and herbs of die field 
speak of Ood, and yet die very highest mad 
best, yea, all of them together, the whde 
consort <^ heaven and eai^, cannot shew 
forth all his praise to the foil. No, it is 
but a part, the smallest part, of that ^ory 
whidi they can reach. 

We an pretend to these dignities, in that 
we profess ourselves Christians ; but if we 
have a mind to be resolved of the truth in 
this, (for many, many are deceived in it,) 
we may, by addng ourselves seriously, and 
answering truly to dus t Itt, Whetherare 
my actions and the coarse of my life sndi, 
as give evidence of the grace of Ood, and so 
sp«ik his praise ? If not, sure I am not of 
this number that Ood hath dins called and 
dignified t And this I fear would degrade 
many. 2dlpy If my life be somewhat m. 
gular and Christian-like, yet whether do I in 
it all, sin^y and constandy, without any 
selfish or sinister end, desire and seek the 
glory of God alone ? Otherwise, I may be 
like this chosen genersttion s but J am not 
of diem : And this out of doubt would make 
the nimiber yet far less. WeU, think on it, 
it is a miserable condition for men, either to 
be grossly staining and dishonouring the 
holy religion they profess, or in seeming to^ 
serve and honour Ood, to be serving and 
seeking themselves ; it is the way to lose 
themselves for ever. Oh ! it is a comfortable 



teachedi us, PsaL six. ) ; and shall notlthing tohave an upright mind, and to love. 



10.1 



THB PIRBT EPI8TLB OF PETER. 



•• 



Ood ftr UoMlfy and Im# tedtt iMf iuomm 
<Mf^, 1 Oor. zUL 6. They an tnily happj 
diat make this tfadr work ; tbioerelyy though 
weakly, to adnoiee the preisei of their Ood 
in eU things ; and tndiiig te gieat imper- 
Aetifln dT their heat dUigenoe hi thia woik 
liere, a» stin longing to he in that state where 
Aey shaD do it hotter. 



vkr. la 

Imt 



Whldi in time jMttwen^Bott people, 
the people oc God t 



Wlddi had not 

>OKIVff but BO 

ThxIove «r Ood to hia children is the 
gnat aulqeet both of his word and of their 
tfaen^ts, and therdbre is it that his word 
(die mlo oif Adr thoughts and whole liyes) 
speaks ao mweh of that love ; to tliat raj 
cndy Aat they may think mndiy and esteem 
higUy at it, and wa& anawentUy to it. 
This la the aeqpe of St. Paul's doctiine to 
the Ephesiana, and the top of his desirea fin 
dttm, Eph. iii. 17) and this is our apostle's 
aim hoe. As he began the Epistle with 
eppoaing dieir efectiflsi hi heaven to their dis* 
pcnion on esrth, the same consideration nns 
dnoQig^ the whole of it. Here he is repre- 
senting to diem the great fruit of that lore, 
that hs|ipy and high estate to which they are 
eaOed in Christ ; that the choosing of Christ, 
and of belieTeiSy is as one act, and they as 
one entire object of it ; one gloiioos temple ; 
He die finmdadon and hnd comer-stone, 
and they the edifice, one honourable frater- 
nity; He die King ofkings and Great High. 
Priest, and diey l^ewise through him made 
kings and priests unto God the Father, a 
fopal prie8iho0dj Ac He the Hffhi of the 
wm'Uy and they through him ehUdren of 
Ughk Now that this their dignity, which 
shines so bright in its own innate worth, may 
yet appear the mora, the apoade here sets it 
«ff by a double qpposidon. 

1. Of riie misery under which others are, 
and alao thatmiseiy mider whidi they them- 
ashea were before their calling. And this 
being set on botk sides, is asa dark shadoir- 
Ing round about their h ap pi n e s s here deserf- 
bed ae^ng oirthe lustre of it 

1. Thefar former misery, expressed in' the 
ftraier vexw by daikneis, is here more ftilly 
and i^ainly set before tiiefar riew in these 
words ; they are borrowed from the prophet 
Hoaea, ii. 23, where (as is usual with the 
prophets,) he is raised up by die Spirit of 
God, from die temporal troubles, and deUrer- 
ancea of the Israelites, to consider and fore- 
feell that great restoration wrought by Jesus 
Christ, purchasing a new people to himself, 
made up both of Jews and Gentiles that be- 
Keve : And dierefore the prophecy is fit and 
i^ioable to both ; so that die debate Is al- 
together needless, whether it concerns the 
Jews or Oendles. 'For in its spiritual sense, 
as relating to the kingdom of Christ, it fore- 
tells the making the Gentiles, that were not 
before ao> Ike people qf Oody and the reco- 



Tciy of the Jews l&ewiaa, who by tMr apoi« 
tades, and die capdrities and dispeniona 
whidi eame upon diem, as just punishments 
of those apoatoaiea, were degraded from the 
outward dignides diey had as the people 
of God, and withal were spiritually misen- 
Ue and capdres by nature, and so in both 
reqpects laid equal with die Gentiles, and 
stood as much in need of this resdtudon as 
they. St. Paol useth it, coneeming the calk 
ing of the Gendles, Rom. ix. S5. And 
here St. Peter, writing, as is most proba- 
ble^ psrdcularly to the dispersed Jews, ap- 
plies it to them, as being, in the very refold 
enoe it bean to the Jews, truly frJfiUed in 
those alone that were beliereis, frith wwtlfiwg 
diem a part of tlie true Israel of God, to 
which the promises do peculiarly belong, as 
the apostle St. Paul argues at large^ Rom. 
iz. 

2. We haTe their present hapjdness ; and 
this we slso haye here under a double expres- 
slon, theff were not a people ; destitute of 
mercy ; not the people of Gody says the pro- 
phet ; not a people, says our apostle ; being 
not Ood*s people, so bare and misersble as 
not to be wordiy of the name of a people at 
all, as it is taken, Deut. xxxii. 21. 

There is a kind of being, a lifo that a soul 
hath by a peculiar union with Ood ; and 
therefore in diat sense the soul without God 
is dead, as the body is without the soul, Eph. 
ii. 1. Yea, as the body separated from the 
soul is not only a lifidess lump, but putrifiea 
and becomes noisome and abominable ; thus 
the soul separated from God is subject to a 
more loathsome and rile putrefrction, PsoL 
xiv. 3. So diat men that are yet unbelievetai, 
ofv no/, as the Hebrews expressed death ; 
and multitudes of them are not a people, 
but a heap of filthy carcases. AgaJn> take 
our natural misery in the notion dT a capti- 
rity, which was the judgment threatened 
agahist the Jews to make diem not a people ; 
therefore their captivity is often spoke oif aa 
a death by the prophets, and diefar zedoction 
as their resurrection, Erek. xxxril. And as 
a captive people is dvilly dead, as diey speak, 
so a soul captive to sin, and the prince of 
darkness, is spiritually dead, wanting hap- 
piness and well-being, which if it never at- 
tain, it had better, for itself, not be at all. 
There is nothing but disorder and confusion 
in die soul without God, the affections huny- 
ing it away tumultuonsly, as in a state of 
anarchy. 

Thus captive sinners are not ; they are 
dead; they want that happy being that flows 
from God to the souls that are united to him- 
self, and consequently must want that society 
and union with one another, which results 
from the former, results from the same union 
that believers have with God, and the same 
being in him ; which makes them truly 
worthy to be called "a people, and particularly 



400 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



fcaip* m 



the pe6ptiB of GWd. His people aie the only 
people in. the world worthy to he called a 
people; the rest are hut lefiiBe and dtoas, 
althott^ in the worlds esteem, that judges 
hy its own rules, and ihvour of itsdf, &ie 
people of God he as no hody, no people, a 
company of silly creatures ; yea, we are made^ 
. says the great apostle, at the filth nf the 
Vforldf and the off^eeowring of all things^ 
1 Cor. iv. 13 ; yet, in his account who hath 
chosen them, (who alone knows the true 
value of things,) his people are the only peo^ 
pley and all the rest of the wodd as nothing 
in his ^es. He dignifies and beautifies 
them, and loves in them that beauty which 
he hath given them. 

But under that term is not only comprised 
that new being of believers in each one of 
them Kptat ; but that tie and union that is 
amongst them as one people, being incorpo- 
lated together,' and living under the same 
government and laws, without which a people 
are beasts of the field, or the fiehee of the 
eea, and the creeping things that, have no 
ruler over them^ as the pro^et, Hab. i. 14, 
speaks. That regular living in society, and 
union in laws and policy, makes wiantf men 
to be one people ; but the civil union of men 
■in states and kingdom, is nothing compara- 
ble to the mysterious union of the people of 
God with him, and one with another. That 
commonwealth hath a firmer union than all 
others. Believers are knit together in Christ 
as their head ; not merely a dvil or political 
vhead ruling them, but as a natural head, 
enlivening them, giving them all one life. 
Men in odiei societies, thou^ well ordered, 
yet are but as a multitude of trees, regularly 
planted indeed, but each hath his own root : 
But the faithful are all branches of one root, 
their union is so mysterious, that it is com- 
pared to the very union of Christ with his 
Father, os it is indeed the product of it, 
John xvii. 21. 

People </ God.\ " I will say to them, 
Thou art my people, and they shall say. Thou 
art my God,*' Hob. ii. 23. That mutual in- 
terest and possession is the vexy foundation 
of all our comfhrt. He is the first chooser ; 
he first says, Mp people, caUs them so, and 
makes them to be so ; and then they say, 
Mg God. It is theroibre a relation that 
ahall hold and shall not break, because it Is 
founded upott his choice who changes not. 
The tenor of an external covenant with a 
people, as the Jews particularly found, is 
such as may be broken by man's unfaithful, 
ness, though God remain fUthful and true : 
But the new covenant of grace makes all 
sure on all hands, and cannot be broken ; 
the Lord not only keeping his own part, but 
likewise perfbnning ouis, in us, and fbr us, 
and establishing us, that as. he dqiarts not 
from us first, so we diall not depart fWvn him. 
/ will betrothe thee to ne, says he there, for 



ever: It is an indittolulile taiaifiage, that 
is not in danger to be broke either by di« 
vorce or death. 

Mg People.] There is treasure of in.* 
struction and bomfbrt wrapt up in that word, 
not only mote than the proAme world can im* 
agine^ for they indeed know nothing at aQ 
of it, but more than they that an of that 
number are able to conceive, a deep unfrthom- 
able. Mg People, They his portion, and 
he is theirs. He aceounts nothing of dl the 
world beside them, and they of nodiingat aQ 
beside him; fiir them he continues the woridi 
Many and great are die privileges of hit 
people contained in that great diarter, die 
holy soriptures, and rich is that land whcm 
their inheritance lies ; but aH flows fitom thio 
reciprocal relation, that he u their God, 
All his power and wisdom is engaged tat 
their good : how great and many soever an 
their enemies, they may well oppose this to. 
tSi, heie their God, They aie sure to be 
protected and prospered, and- in the .end to 
have full victory. <' Happy then is that 
people whose God is the Lord," PsaL 
jcxxiii. 12. 

Which had not obtained mereg.] The 
mercies of the Lord to his chosen nefram 
everlasting; yet so long as his decree «f 
meicy runs hid, and is not discovered to 
them in the effects of it, ihey are said not le 
have received or obtained mercg : and when 
it begins to act and work in their efiectual 
calling, then they find it to be theirs. It 
was in a secret way moving forward towasds 
them before, as the sun after midnight is still 
coming nearer to us, though we perceive not 
its approach till the dawning of die day. 

Mercg.] The former word, the people o/ 
God, teaches us how great the change is that 
is wrought by the calUng of God ; it makes 
those hie peof^ who were not a people. 
This word, obtained mercg, discovers tfaq 
spring from whence it flows ; and Ukewiae 
teaches us, 1. How free U is ; diis is indeed 
implied in the words of the change, of no 
people, such as have no right to such a dig- 
nity at all, and in themselves no disposidoa 
for it ; to be made his people, can he owin^ 
to nothing but free grace; such mercy a» 
supposes nodiing, and seeks nothing but 
miseiy in us, and works upon that. As it 
is expressed to have been very free to this 
people of the Jews, in choosing them before 
the rest of the world, Deut vii. T, 8, so it. 
is to the spiritual Israel of God, and to every 
one paiiicularly belonging to that company. 
Why is it diat he chooteth one of a family, 
and leaves another, but because it pleaseth 
him ? He blots out their transgressions for- 
his own name*s sake, Isa. xliii. 25. And, 
2. As it is free mercy, so it is tender mereg ;, 
the word in die prophet signifies tenderness^ 
or bowels of compassion, and such an the 
mercies of our God towards us^ Jer. xxxL 90. 



"VSll. 1^.] 



THE riRST KPISTLE OF PfiTER. 



101 



1b» boveb of a ftlher, Psal. eiii. 18, and 
if you think not dmt tendemen enough, tluwe 
ofamotlier, yoamore tliaa a mother, Isa. 
idiz. 15. 3. It 98 rieh merepy wliich 
ddighti to gloriiy itielf in the greatest 
niaerj ; and pardons as easily the gieatest 
as the smallest of debts. 4. A eonttani un- 
nUsrahle mercy, a stream stUl mnning. 

Now in both these the apostle draws the 
eyes of betierers to reflect on their former 
misery, and view it together with their pre- 
sent state. This is very frequent in the 
serfptuiHes, Esek. xri. Epfa. zxi. 1 Cor. vi. 
11, &C. And it is of very great use ; it 
wosks the soul of a Christian to much hu- 
mility and love, and thankfulness and obe- 
dience. 

It cannot choose but ibrce him to abase 
himself and magnify- the f!ree grace and love 
of God, and Ihis may be one reason why it 
pleaaeth the Lofd to suspend the conver- 
sion of many, for many years of their life, 
yea, to suffer some of them to stain those 
years with grieyous and gross sins $ that the 
liobes and glory of his grace, and f^eeness of 
his choice, may be die more legible both to 
themselves and others. Idkewise tho^ ap- 
pidiensions of wrath due to sin, and sights of 
fadl as it were, that he brings some unto, 
either at or after their conversion, make for 
this same end. That glorious description of 
die New Jerusalem, Rev. xxi. 16, &c is 
abundantly deUghtfbl in itself, and yet the 
fiery lake spoke of there, vex. 8, miJces all 
that is spoke of the other sound jnuch the 



But, univenaQy, all the godly have this to 
consider, that they were etrangere and ene^ 
tme$ to God : and let each of them think. 
Whence was it, that I, a lump of the same 
pottutad day with those that perish, should 
be taken and purified and moulded by the 
Lord's own hand for a vessel of glory? 
Nothing but fice grace makes the difference ; 
and where can there be love, and praises, and 
aervioe found to answer tliis ? All is to be 
ascribed to the mercy, gifb, and calling of 
Christ. And his ministers (as doth St Paul,) 
ascribe it to hie merejf that they faint not, 
S Cor. hr. 1. 

- But, alas ! we neither enjoy the comfort 
of this mercy as obtained, nor are grieved fbr 
wanting it, and stirred up to seek alter it, if 
not yet obtained. What do you think ? 
aeems it a small thing in your eyes to be 
•hut out from the presence of Ood, and to 
bear the weight of his wrath for ever, that 
you dius 4i^t this mercy, aril }et it pass 
by you unregarded ? or will that imagined 
obtaihing divert you firom the real pursuit of 
it ? Will yon be willingly deceived, and be 
your own decdvers ia a matter of so great 
importance ? You cannot think too highly 
of the riches of divine mercy ; it is above aU 
•your thoughts ; but remember and consider 



this, that there is a peeuHar pebpte of hif 
own, to whom alone aU the riches it it do be* 
long. 

And therefbre, how great soever it is, um 
less you find yourselves of that number, 
you cannot lay claim to the smallest share of 
it. And you are not ignorant what is their 
character, what a kind of people they are^ 
that have such a knowledge of God as bim« 
self gives ; they are ail taught <^ God, en- 
lightened and sanctified by his Spirit, a holy 
people, as he is a holy Ooid, such as have the 
riches of that his grace, by which they are 
saved, in most precious esteem, and their 
hearts by it inflamed with his love ; and there* 
fbre their thoughts taken up with nothing so 
much as studying how they may obey and 
honour him ; raUier choosing to displease 
all the world, than offend him ; and account- 
ing nothing too dear, yea, nothing good 
enough to do him service^ If it be thus 
with you, then you have indeed obtained 
merey. 

But if you be such as can wallow in the 
same puddle with the profane world, and 
take a share of their ungodly ways ; or if, 
though your outward carriage be somewhat 
more smooth, you regard iniquity in your 
heartty have your hearts ardent in the love 
and pursuit of the worid, but firoien to God ; 
if you have some bosom idol that you hide 
and entertain, and cannot find in your heart 
to part with some one. beloved tin, whatso- 
ever it is, for all the love that God hath 
manifested to man in the Son of his love 
Jesus Christ ; In a word, if you can please 
and delight yourself in any way displeasing 
unto God, (though his people while they 
are here have spots, yet ^ese are not spots 
of his people that I am now speaking of,) 
I can give you no assurance that as yet you 
have obtained mercy : On the contrary, it is 
certain that the wrath of God ie stilt abid. 
ing en you, and if you continue in this state, 
you are in apparent danger of perishing 
under it. You are yet children of spiritual 
darkness, and in the way to utter and ever- 
lasting darkness. Know ye what it is to be 
destitute of this mercy ? It is a woeful 
state, though you had all worldly enjoy- 
mento, and were in die top of outward pros- 
perity, to be shut out ffom the mercy and 
love of God. 

There is nothing doth so kindly work re- 
pentance, as the right apprehension of the 
mercy and iove of God. The beams of that 
love are more powerful to melt the heart than 
all the flames of mount Sinai, all the threa- 
tenings and terrors of the law : Si& is the 
root cf our misery ; and therefore it is the 
proper work of this mercy to rescue the soul 
from it ; both from the guilt, and the power 
of it at once. Can you think there is any 
suitableness in it, that the peculiar people of 
God.shpuld despise his laws, and practise 



103 



A COMBiBNTARY UPON 



[OAP.n. 



aoihliig but ztbeUions ? Tliat Uiote in whom 
he hath magnified his macy, th^uld take 
pleuuxe in abusing it? and that he bath 
washed any with &e blood of his Son, to 
the Old that they may still wallow again in 
ihs fnire ^ As if we were ledeemed not /rem 
■in but to sin : , As if we should say, We 
aire delivered to do all iheee abominaiioniy 
Jer. viL 10. Oh ! let us not dare thus to 
abuse and afiVoDt the free giace of God, if 
we mean to be saved by it : Let as many as 
would be found among those that obtain 
mercy, walk as his people, whose pecaliar 
iiiheritance is his mercy. And sedng this 
grace qf God hath appeared unto ««, let us 
embrace it, and let it effectually teaeh u$ to 
deny ungodlineee and teorldlg luatty Tit* 
U. 11, 12. 

And if you be persuaded to be eanest 
suitors for this mercy, and to fly in to Jesue, 
who is the true mercp-eeaty then be assured 
it is yours. Let not the greatest guiltiness 
scare you and drive you from it, but rather 
drive you the more to it ; for the greater the 
weight of that misery is under which you 
lie, the more need you have of this mercy, 
and the more will be the glory of it in yon. 
It is a strange kind of argument used by the 
Psalmist, and yet a sure ooe, it concludes 
well and strongly, (Psal. zzv. 7,) ^* hard 
pardon my iniqulQr, for it is great.** The 
ioul pressed with the gieatness of its sin 
lying heavy upon it, may make that very 
pvessnie an argument to press the forgive- 
ness of it at the hands of free mercy ; it is 
for thy name eake, that makes it strong ; 
the force of the inference lies in that. Thou 
ttt nothing, and worse than nothing ; true ! 
but all that ever obtained this mercy were 
cnce so: They were nothing of aU that 
which it hath made them to be ; they were 
not a people, had no intcKst in God, were 
strangers to mercy, yea, heire qf wrath: 
Yea, they had not so much as a desire after 
God, until this mercy prevented them, and 
■hewed itself to them, and them to them- 
selves, and so moved Uiem to desire it, and 
caused them to find it, caught hold on them 
and plucked them out of the dungeon. And 
it is unquestionably sdll the same, and foils 
not ; ever expending, and yet never all spent, 
yea, not so much as at all diminished ; flow, 
ing as the rivers from one age to another, 
Sffvlng each age in the present, and yet no 
whit the less to those that come after. He 
who exercises it is The LOIU> forgiving 
iniquity, transgnssicn, and sin, to all ^t 
oome unto him, and yet still keeping moey 
for thoussnds that come after, Exod. xxxiv. 7. 

You that have obtained this mercy, and 
have the seal of it within you, it will certain- 
ly eonfcrm your hearts to its own nature, it 
will work yew to a merciful compassionate 
tempsr of mind to the souls of others that 
h«ve not yet obtidned it; You will indeed, 



ihe Lord doth» hate sin ; but, as be dolh 
likewise, you will pity the sinner. You will 
be so for firom miseonstraing and grmnWing 
at the long-suibringof God, as if you would 
have the bridge cut because yon are aro, as 
St. Augustine speaks, that, on the co ntm iy, 
your great desire will be to draw others to 
partake of the ssme mercy with you, know* 
ing it to be ridi enough : And yon will in 
your station use your best diligence to hting 
in many to it, both in love to the souls ot 
men, and to the glory of God. 

And withal, yon will be stED admiring 
and extolling diis mercy as it is manifosted 
unto you, considering what it is, and what 
you were before it visited yon. The Is- 
raelites confessed, at the offering of the first 
fruits, Deut. XXV. ft, to set off tiie bounty of 
God, A Syrian ready to periih woe my 
father; they conftssed their esptivily in 
Egypt : but for poorer snd baser is our na. 
tinal condition, and fiw more prec i o us Is that 
land, to the possession of whidi Ais free 
mercy bringeth us. 

Do but csU back your thoughts, you diat 
have indeed esc^Md it, snd look but into 
that pit of misery, whence the hsnd of the 
Lord hath drawn you out, and you camioe 
miss to love him highly, and stiH kiss diat 
gracious hand, even while it is scourging 
you with any affliction whatsoever t benuse 
it hath once done this for you, namdiy, 
plucked you out of everlasting destruction. 
As the thoughts of this change will teadi us 
to praise, PsaL xL 23, ^ He hath brought 
me up out of an horrible pit ;*' then follows^ 
" He hath put a new song in my mouth, 
even praise unto our God ; not only redeem* 
ed me from destruction, but withal a onn ed 
me with glory and honour,** Psal. ciii. 4. 
He not only doth forgive all our debts, and 
let us out ci prison, but enriches us with an 
estate that cannot be spent, and dignifies as 
with a crown that cannot wither, made up 
of nothing of ours. These two will stretch 
and tune the heart very high, to consider 
from what a low estate grace brings a man, 
and how hi^ it doth exalt him ; in what a 
beggarly vik condition the Lord finds us^ 
and yet doth not only free us thenoe^ but 
puts sudi dignities on us ; <' raises iq» the 
poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out 
of the dunghill, that he may be set witk 
princes, even with the princes of his people,*' 
PssL cxiii. 7, 8. Or as Jotdraa the priest^ 
Zedi. iii. 3, 4, 5, puteqffihe poUuied gar*. 
mentSf and eete on a fair miire. So those 
of this priesUiood are dealt withal. 

Now, that we may be thedeeperin the sense 
and admiration of dbia mercy, it is indeed 
our duty to seek earnestly sd^ the evidenos 
and strong assuisnoe of it ; for things work 
on us aoMrding to our notice and apprchen* 
sions of them, and therefore the more idfjtu 
assurance of mercy, the moiekive, and thaidc« 



▼n. II. 



TH£ FIRST EPISTLE OF PBTER. 



103 



ftilBMf, md cbedlenoe 'fpringt ftom it : 
Therefore it ii, that the apostle here repre* 
•enti this great and happy change of estate 
to Christians, as a thing that they may know 
oonceming themselves, snd ought to seek the 
knowledge o^ that so they may be duly alftct- 
ed with it. And it is indeed a happy thing to 
hare in die soul an extract of thatgieat archive 
and act of grace towaidsit, Aat hath stood in 
heaven from eternity. It is sure both a very 
eomlbrtaUe and profitable thing, to find and 
lead dearly the seal of mercy upon die Mml, 
vhidi is holiness, that by which a man is 
naikad by God, as apart of his peculiar pos- 
session that he liath chosen out oi the world : 
And when we perceive any thing of this, let 
vs look back, as here the apostle would have us 
to do^ and reflect how God has coiled tu 
Jrom darkneu ia hU m^tveUmta Ught. 



▼mil 11. Dssriylidovadf I bMccchyoo, m itmMBn 
sad pflgiimi. abstain fhvn flcsUy uuts, wmch 
wsr aguMt die louL 

Tbk right spiritual knowledge that a 
Christian hath of Ood and of himself, difier- 
cnceth itself from whatsoever is likest to it, 
by die power snd influence it hadi upon the 
heart and life. And in this it hadi the lively 
impitsdon of that doctrine of the holy scrip- 
toies diat teaches it ; wherein we still find 
thionghont, that the high mysteries of reli- 
gion are accompanied with pracdcal truths, 
which not only agree with them, but are 
drawn oat of them, and that not violently 
diaw% but natuially flowing finnn them, as 
pure streams from a pore spring. Thus in 
this epistle we find the apostle intermixing 
his doctrine with the most useful and piac- 
dcal exhortadons, chap. i. ver. 13, 22, and 
in the begiuiing of this chapter again, and 
now in these words. 

And upon this model ought both the 
ministeas of the gospel to form their preach- 
ing, and the hearers their ear. Ministers are 
not to instruct only, or exhort only, but to do 
both. To exhort men to holiness and the 
dudesof a Christian life, without instructing 
men in the doctrine of laith, and bringing 
them to Jesus Christ, is to build a house 
without a foundation. And on the other 
ride, to instruct the mind in the knowledge 
of divine things^ and neglect the pressing of 
that pmcdce and power of godliness, which 
is the undivided companion of true fidth, is 
to forget the building that ought to be raised 
npon that fi>undadon once laid^ which is like- 
wise a point of very great fiiUy. Or if men 
laying that right foundadon, do proceed to 
the superstructure of vain and empty specula- 
tionsy it is but to buUd hay mnd stubble^ 1 
Cor. iii. 12, instead of those solid truths that 
direct the soul in the way to hamiiness, which 
are of more solidity and worth than gold and 
silver, and precious stones, 1 Tim. iii. 9. 
Christ, and the doctrine that reveals him, is 



cslled tke mystery ofthe/aOh, and vet. 16, 
the mystery of godliness: As Christ is the ob- 
ject of faith, so he is the spring and fountain 
of godliness. The apostle having, we see, in 
his foregoing discourse unfblded the excellency 
of Christ, and of Christians in him, proceeds 
here to exhort them to that pure and spirit 
tual temper of mind and course of life, that 
becomes diem as Christians. 

These hearers are to blame, and to pregu- 
dice themselves, diat are attentive only to 
such words snd discourse as stir the affecdons 
for the present, and find no relish in the 
doctrine of faidi, and the unfblding of diose 
mysteries that beur the whole weight of reli- 
gion, so as to be the ground both of all Chris, 
tian obedience, and Si exhortadons and per- 
Buarives to it. These temporary swUen 
stirrings of the affecdons, without a right in- 
fbimed mind, and some measure of due know- 
ledge of God in Christ, do no good. It is 
the wind of a word of exhortadon that stirs 
them for die time against their lusts, but 
the first wind of temptation that comes, 
carries diem away ; and thus the mind is but 
tossed to and fro like a wave of the sea, with 
all kind of winds, not being rooted and 
grounded in the faith of Christ, as it is, 
CoL ii. 7> and so in the love qf Christ, Eph. 
il. 17) which sre the conquering graces that 
subdue his lusts and the world unto a Chris- 
tian, 1 John v. 4, 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. hawo 
makes a man dead to himself and die world, 
and toHve to Christ that died for him. 

On the other part, they are no less, yea, 
more to blame, that are glad to have their 
minds instructed in the mysteries of the 
Christian fiuth, and out of a mere natural 
desire to know, are curioua to hear such 
things as inform them ; but when it comes 
to the urging of holiness and mortifying their 
lusts, these are hard sayings, they had ra- 
ther there were some way to receive Christ, 
and retain their lusts too, and to bring them 
to agreement. To hear of the mercies of 
God, and the dignities of his people in Christ, 
is very pleasing ; but to have this follow upon 
it, aistain from fleshly lusts, diisis an im- 
portune troublesome ^scourse : But it must 
be so for all that, these that will share in 
that mercy and happiness must abstainfrom 
fleshly lusts, &c. >. 

Dearly beloved, J beseech you.] There 
is a faculty of reproving required in the mi- 
nistry, and sometimes a necessity of very 
sharp rebukes, cutting ones. They that 
have much of the spirit of meekness, may 
have a rod by them too, to use upon neces- 
sity : But sure the way of meekness is that 
they use most willingly, as the ^^osde there 
implies. And out of all question, with inge* 
nuous minds the mild way of sweet entreaties 
is very forcible ; as oil that penetrates and 
sinks insensibly ; or, to use that known re- 
semblance, they prevail at the sun-beams^ 



104 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[ CUA9. tU 



that without aay noise, made the traveller 
cast his doBk, which all the blustering of the 
wind could not do; but made him rather 
gather it closer, and bind it faster about him. 
We see the apostles are frequent in this 
strain of entreaties, / beseech you, Rom. xn. 
L Now this word of entreaty is strength- 
ened much by the other, Dearly beloved. 
Scarce can the harshest reoroofs, much less 
gentle reproofs, be thrown back, that have 
upon them the stamp of lore. That which 
is known to come from love cannot readily 
but be so received too, and it is thus express- 
ed, for that very purpose, that the request 
may be the more welcome. Beloved, is the 
advice of a friend, one that truly loves you, 
and aims at nothing in it but your good. It 
is because I love you that I entreat you, and 
entreat you, as yon love yourselves, to obm 
stmn from fieshly Itutt that war agairut 
$four touU. ' And what is our purpose when 
we exhort you to believe and repent, but that 
you may be happy in the foigiyeness of your 
sins ? Wliy do we desire you to embrace 
Christ, but that through him ye may have 
everlasting life P 

Howsoever you take these things, it is our 
duty incessantly to put you in mind of them ; 
and to do it with much love and tenderness 
of affection to your souls ; not only pressing 
3F0tt by frequent warnings and exhortings, 
but also by frequent prayers and tears for 
your salvation. 

Abstain,^ Jt was a very wise abridgement 
that Epictetus made of philosophy, into those 
two words, bear and forbear. These are 
truly the two main duties that our apostle 
recommends to his Christian brethren, in this 
epistle. It is one and the same strength of 
spirit that raises a man both above the trou- 
bles and pleasures of the world, and makes 
him despise and trample upon both. 

We have first briefly to explain what these 
fleshly lusts mean ; then to consider the ex- 
hortation of abstaining from them. 

Unchaste desires are particularly called by 
this name indeed, but to take it for these 
only in this place, is doubtless too narrow. 
That which seems to be the true sense of it 
here, takes in all undue desires and use of 
earthly things, and all the corrupt affections 
of our carnal minds. 

Now in that sense, thaejleshly lusts com- 
prehend a great part of the body of sin : All 
those tlirec, the world*s accursed trinity, 1 
John ii. 16, are mider this name here of 
fleshly htsts. A crew of base imperious 
masters they are, to which the natural man 
is a slave ; serving divers lusts, Tit, iii. 3. 
Some are more addicted to the service of one 
kind of lust, some of another : But all are 
in tills unhappy, tliat they are strangers, yea, 
enemies to God ; and as the brute creatures, 
servants to their flesh ; either like the beasts 
of the field, as the covetous, with their eyes 



stiU upon the earth ; <tf rcluptaouty and 
swimming In pleasures, as the fidies do in the 
sea, or like the fonis of the air, in YWk am. 
bitioD. All the strifes that ne raised about 
these things, all malicey and envyingt^ all 
bitterness and evil'speakingy Epii. iv. 31, 
which are works of the fleshy and tend to the 
satisfying of its wicked desire^ we an heie 
requested to abstain fiom. 

To abstain from these lusts, is to hate and 
fly from the very thoughts, axid first motions 
of them ; and if suiprised by those, yet to 
kiU them there, that they bring not forth : 
and to suspect ourselves even in those thing* 
that are not sinful, and tokeep a&r off from idl 
inducements to those polluted ways of sin. i 

In a word, we are to abstain not only from 
the serving of our flesh In things fbrt>idden, 
as unjust gain or unlawful pleamies, &e. b«t . 
also from immoderate desire of and delight- 
ing in any earthly thing, although it may be 
in itself lawfully, yea, necessarily in some de- 
gree desired and used; yea, to have any fever- 
ish pressing thirst afrergain, even just gain, 
or after earthly delights, though lawfrd, is to 
be guilty of (hose fleshly lusts, and a dung 
very unbeseeming the dignity of a Christian. 
To see them that are clothed in eearlet «m- 
bracing a dunghill. Lament, iv. 4, is a 
strange sight ; therefore the apostle, having 
so doffed that immediately before, hatli 
the better reason torequira this of them, thai 
they abstain from fleshly lusts. 

Let their own slaves serve them $ yon ne 
redeemed and deliveied from them ; a five 
people, yea kings, and suits it with royal 
dignity to obey vile lust ? Yon ase priests 
consecrated to Ood, and will yon tumble 
yourselves and your precious gannents in the 
mire ? It was a high speech of a heathen, 
That he was greater and bom to greater 
things than to be a servant to his body ; 
how much more ought he that is bom again 
to say so ? being bora heir to a crown that 
fadeth not away, 1 Pet. v. 4. 

Again, as Uie honour of a Christian's 
estate is &r above this baseness of serving 
his lusts, so the happiness and pleasantness 
of his estate sets him above the need of the 
pleasures of sin. He said before, If ye have 
tasted that the Lord is graeious, deiire the 
sincere milk of the word ; desire that word 
wherein ye may taste more of his gradous- 
ness. And as that fitly urgeth the appetite*s 
desire of the word, so it strongly persuades 
to this abstinence f^trni fleshly lusts, yea, to 
disdain and loathe them. If you have the 
least experience of the sweetness of his love, 
if you have but tasted of the crjrstal river of 
his pleasures, the muddy puddle of the plea- 
sures of sin will be hatd^il and loathsome to 
you ; yea, the very best earthly delighu will 
be disrelished, and will seem unsavoury to 
your taste. The imbittering the breasts of 
the world to the godly by afflictions, dotli 



ll.J 



THE YIR6T EPISTLE OF PETER. 



IM 



Mmedilng indeed to wean them from them ; 
but the breasii qfmmioiaHony that an given 
ihem in their stead, wean mudi more effec* 
tuallj. 

The true leaaon why we vemaftn servanta 
to theoe lusts, some to one, some to another, 
is, because we are still strangers to the love 
of God, and those pore pleasures that are in 
him. Though the pleasures of tliis earth 
be poor and low, and most unworthy our 
pnxsttit, yet so long as men know no better, 
they wffl stidc by diose they have, such as 
ihey are. The i^ilosopher gives Uiis as die 
iCBSon, why men are so much set upon sen. 
Mtsl deligfats, because they know not the 
Ugfaer pleasures that are proper to the soul ; 
and they must have it some way. It is too 
eften in vain to speak to men inthis strain, 
to follow thera with the iqx»tle*s entreaty, / 
keteeeh you io tibsktm from Jleshly lutUy 
unless they that an spoke to^ be such as he 
speaks of in the former words, such at have 
oUained merely and hone ta^isd 4^ the 
gramouanete and love of Christ, whtne hoee 
mre betier than wine^ Cant i. 2. Oh I 
diat we would seek the knowledge of this 
love, for teekmff it we shaufd find ity and 
folding it, no force would need to pull the 
delights of sin ont of our hands, we should 
thnw them away of our own accord. 
' Thus a canial mind prcjudioea itself 
against xdigion, when it bean that it re- 
^jttitea an abstinence ftom fleshly lusts, 
bere a v e s men of their mirth and deUgfat in 
sfai : But they know not that it is to make 
way for more re&ied and predous delii^ts. 
There is nothing of this kind taken ftom us, 
but by a very advantageous ezcluuige it is 
made up. In the world pe §hall have af- 
jHetionf but inme fe shaii have peaoe. It 
not want of the world's peace abundantly 
paid with peace in Christ ? Thus fleshly 
lasts are cast ont ot the hearts of beUevers as 
rubbish and trash, to make room for spiri- 
tnal comforts. We are baned fdUneehip 
with the unfrwUful worke of darkneea, to 
the end we matf have feUowahip with Gody 
and hie Son Jenu Christy 1 John. i. 3, 7* 
This is to make men eai angela* food in- 
deed, Psal. Izxviii. 25, as was said ct the 
manna. The serving of the flesh sets man 
below himself, down amongst the beasts, 
and the eonsoladoos^ of tlie Spirit and com- 
munion with Ood raise him above himself, 
and associate him widi die angels. But let 
na speak to the iqposde*s own dissiusives 
ftom these lusts ; 1. From the condition of 
Christians. 2. From the condition of those 
lutts. 

1. From die oonditioo of Christians, as 
strangers* These dispersed Jews were 
strangera scattered in diven countries, as 
chap. L ver. 1 ; but here that is not intend- 
ed ; diey are called strsngen in tliat spiri- 
tual sense that agrees in common to all the 




saints. Possibly in calling them thus, he 
alludes to their outward dispeoion, but 
means their spiritual alienation ftom the 
world, and interest in die new Jerusalem. 

And this he uses as a very pertinent en. 
fovcement of his exhortation. Whatsoever 
others do, the serving of the flesh, and love 
of the world, is most incongruous and un- 
seemly in you. Consider what you are; if 
yon are dtiiena of this wodd, then you 
might drive die same trade with them, and 
follow the some lusts; but seeing yon ^n 
chosen and called out of this worid, and in. 
vested into a new society, made fteeof ano- 
ther dty, and are therefore here but travel- 
las passing through to your own country, it 
is very reasonable that there be this diffe- 
rence betwixt you and the world, that while 
they live as at home, your carriage be such 
as fits strangers, not glutting yourselves with 
their pleasuns, nor surfeiting upon thdr 
delicious ftuits, as some unwary travellers 
do abroad; but as wise strangers living 
warily and soberly, and sdll minding most 
of all your journey homewards, suspecting 
dangers and snraea in your wi^, and so 
walking with a holy foar, as the Hebrew 
word for a stranger imports. 

There is indeed a miserable party even 
within a Christian, the remainder of corvup. 
tion, diat is no stranger here ; and therefore 
keeps ftiendship and correspondence with 
the wodd, and will readily betray him if he 
watch not the more : So that he is not only 
to fly the pollutions qf the world that are 
round about him, and to chooae his steps 
that he be not ensnared from without ; but 
he is to be upon a continual guard against 
the lust and coirupdon that are yet within 
himself, to curb and oontroul tbem, and give 
them resolute and flat refusids when they 
solidt him, and to stop up their Assays and 
opportunides of intenourse with the world, 
and such things as nourish diem, and so to 
do what he can to starve them out of the 
hdds they keep within him, and to strengthen 
that new nature which is in him; to live 
and act according to it, though so he shall 
be sun to live as a stranger here, and a 
despised, mocked, and hated stranger. 

And it is not^ on the whole, the worse 
that it be so. If men in fordgn countriea 
be subject to forget their own at any time,' 
it is sure then, when they are most kindly 
used abroad, and are moot at their ease ; and 
thus a Christian may be in some danger 
when he is best accommodated, and hath 
most of the smiles and caresses of the world; 
so that though he can never wholly forget 
his home that is above, yet his thoughto of 
it will be less ftequeot, and his desires of it 
less earnest, an4 it may be he may inoendbly 
slide into its customs and habits, as men 
will do that are well seated in somp other 
country : But by the troubles and unfriend-^ 



toa 



A COMMENTATIV UPON 



foaAP. If/ 



liaeu of the wodd, he g«ini this, that when 
they abound moet upon him, he then feeli 
himself a stranger, and lemembert to bdiave 
as such, and tldnks often with much ddigfat 
and strong desires on his own country, and 
the rich and sure inheritance that lies there, 
and the ease and rest he shsll have when he 
comes hither. 

And this will persuade him strongly to 
fly all polluted ways and lusts, as fast as 
world follows them. It will make him 
abhor ihs pleasures nf sin, and use the al- 
lowable enjoyments of this esith warily and 
moderately, nerer engaging his heart to them 
as worldlings do, but always keeping that 
free, free from that earnest desire in the 
pursuit of worldly things, and that deep 
ddlight in the enjoyment of them, which the 
men of the earth bestow upon diem. There 
is a diligence in his calling and prudent re- 
gard of his afiairs, not only permitted to a 
Christian, but required of hUn. But yet in 
comparison of his great and high oaliing, as 
the apostle teaaa it, he follows all his other 
businesses with a kind of coldness and in- 
differency, as not caring very much which 
way they go, his heart Is elsewhere. The 
traveller provides himself as he can of enter- 
tafamient and lodging where it comes : if it 
be commodious it is well ; but if not, it is 
no great matter, if he find bat necessaries, 
he can abate ddicades very welL For where 
he finds them in his way, he neither can, 
nor if he oould, would choose to st^ there, 
diough his ion were dressed with the richest 
hangings and ftunitore; yet it is not bis 
home ; he must and would leave it. That 
is the character of ungodly men, the^ mind 
earthly things, Philip. iii« 19, they are 
drowned in them over head and ears, as 
we say. 

If Christians would eonsidcr how little, 
and for how little a while, they are concerned 
In any thing here, they would go through 
any state, and any changes of state, either to 
the better or the worse, with very composed 
equal minds, always moderate in thdr ne- 
oessary caies, and never taking any care at 
aU fiir die fiesh, to ful/U the lusts of it, 
Rom. xiii. 14. 

Let them that have no better home than 
this world to lay daim to, live here as at 
home, and serve their lusts, they that have 
an their portion in this life, no mote good 
to look ibr than what they can catch hen ; 
let them take their time of the poor profits 
«id pleasures that are here ; But you that 
have your whole estate, aU your riches and 
pleasures laid up fn heaven, and reeerve^ 
Aero for ffou ,* let your hearts be thero, end 
jo\u eonversoHon there. This is not the 
pisoe of your rest, nor your delights, unless 
yuv would be wiUing to change, and to have 
9ou¥ good things here, as some ibolish tta- 
velicn, that ipwd the estate thiy should live 



on at home, in a little whik*s braving i% 
abroad amongst strangers. WiU you, witk 
'' profane Esau, sell your birth-right for » 
mess of pottage,*' Heb. xii. 16, s^ eternity 
for a moment, and such pleasures, as a mo- 
ment of them is more w<nth than an etentitjF 
of the other? 

2. The apostle argues from the condition, 
of their lusts. It were quarrel enough against 
lSbie\fieshl}f lusts, which uM»r agmnst the soul, 
that diey axe so fsr below the soul, that they 
cannot content, no, nor at all reach the soul ; 
they are not a suitable, much less a satisfy* 
ing good to it. Although sin hath unspeak- 
ably abused the soul of man, yet its excellent 
nature and original does stiU cause a vast 
disproportion betwixt it, and aU thoee gross 
base-things of the esrth that concern the flesh, 
and go no further. But this is not all, thesa 
fleshly lusts are not only no benefit to tho 
soul, but they axe its pemidous enemies i 
they war against it ; anid their war against 
it is all made up of stratagem and dight, , 
fbr they cannot hurt the sod., but by itself. 
They promise it some contentment, and so 
gain its consent to serve them, and undo it« 
self; they embrace the soul, that they may 
strangle it. The soul is too much diverted 
from its own proper business, by the inevit^ 
able and incessant necessities of the body i 
And thereCbre it is the height of injustice 
and cruelty to make it likewise serve the ok^p 
tmvagant and sinfiil desires of the flesh ; so 
much time fiir deep, and so mudi for eating 
and drinking, and dressing and undsessl^g, 
and to many die greatest part of the time 
that remains from &ese, is spent in Isboot- 
ing and providing fix diose. Look on th# 
employments of most men $ all the labour of 
die husbandmen in the country, and trades* 
men in the city, the multitude of shops and 
celling, what is the end of them all, but the 
intCKst and service of the body ? And in 
all these the immortal soul is drawn down te 
drudge for the mortal body, the house qf 
elay wherein it dwells. And In the sense 
of this, those souls that truly know and con* 
sider diemsehres in this condition, do often 
groan under the burden and desire of the 
day bf their ddivcrsnce. But the service of 
the flesh in the inordinate huts of it, is a 
point of &r baser slavery and indignity to 
the soul, and doth not only divert it from 
spiritual things fbr the time, but habitually 
indisposes it to every spiritual work, and 
makes it earthly and sensual, and so unfits 
it fbr heavenly things : Where these lusts, 
or any one of diem, have dominion, the soul 
cannot at all perform any good ; neither jpny^ 
nor hear, nor read die word sright i And in 
as fbr as any of them prevail upon the sonl 
of a ehlld of Ood, they do disjoint and ditii 
able it for holy thfaigs. 

Although they be not of the grossest kind 
of lusts,, but sndi things as are scaios taken 



y%VL. 11.} 



THE FIRBT EPUTIjB OW PETER. 



1«7 



Dodce of in a man, ddier by o&mty or by 
his own oonsdenoc, fome izr^gular deaiie* or 
enlinglmifntii of the hetrt, pet tke$g iUOe 
f9M9M will desiropthe vine$f Cant. iL 15^ 
they will prey upon |he gmces of a Christiany 
and keqp them -my low : ThcRlbre it coi^ 
cons us much to study our hearts, and be 
exact in cslling to aoeonnt the ssrcnl affec- 
tions that are in them ; otherwise .even sudi 
as 0r0 eaUed rf Ged^ and have obtained 
merep, for soch the apostle speaks to, may 
have such lusts within them as will much 
abate the flourishing of their graces, and the 
spiritual beauty of the soul. 

The godly know it well in their sad ez- 
pcricnos^ that tlieir own hearts do often de- 
oeiTe them, harbouring and hiding such 
things as deprive them much of that liveli- 
ness of gxsce, and those oomfbcts of the Holy 
Ghost, that otherwise they would be very 
likely to attain unto. 

This warring againet the soui, which ez- 
pxeases the mischief and hurtfiilness of them, 
hath this under it, that these lusts, as 
breaches of God's law, do subject the soul to 
his wrath. So that by this the apoade might 
well uge this point. BeSMes, that these 
luats are unworthy of you : The truth is, if 
yen Christians serve your lusts, yon kill your 
souls. So Rom. viiL 13. 

Consider, when men are on their death- 
^ beds, and near their entering into eternity, 
what they then think of all Aeir toiling in 
the earth, and serving their own hearts and 
lasts in any kind ; when they see that of all 
these ways, nothing remains to dMsn, but 
the guiltiness of their sin, and the accusa- 
tions of oobscienoe, and the wiadi of God. 

Oh I that you would be p eiaaadetl to 
esteem your piedous souls, and not wound 
them as ^oa do, but war for them, against 
all those lusts that war against them. The 
soul of a Christian is doubly predons, being, 
besides iu natural exceDency, ennobled by 
giace^ and sa twice descended of heaven ; 
and dierefore it deserves better nsage than to 
be turned into a scullion, to s^e the flesh. 
The service of Jesus Christ is that which 
only fits it ; it is only honoonble ibr the 
soul to serve so high a Lord, and its service 
is only due to him that bought It at so high 
a rate. 



▼br. is. HavJagjooroon^ramitioD honot 
the Ocntflef ; tost whems-they sptsk agdntt 
you ai efvilHloBn, they nay, by your good works 
wUdi they dian bdbnU* glaitty CM 
vMhttoOi 

These two things diat a natunl man 
makes least accovit oi^ are of all things in 
highest icgaid wiUi a Christian, his own 
soul, and Qod^s g^ory i So that there be no 
stronger persnaaives to him in sny thing than 
the intersat of these two ; and by these the 
^wstle urgeth his present exhortation toholi- 



sttfiee of his advke or reqneaC in this anA 
the former verse is the sane ; a truly honee^ 
eonversoHou is only that which is spiiitaal, 
not defiled with tha eamal lasts and pel-* 
lotions ef the world* 

The abstaining tnm those lusts doth in- 
deed oomprshend not oidy die rule of out- 
ward carriage, hot the inward temper of the 
mind ; whereaa diis honest eonvcfsation doth 
more expressly eonccm our external deport- 
ment amongst men, as it is added, honest 
amongst the Gentiles; and so tending to 
the ghiry of God. So that these two are in- 
separably to be regarded, the inward disposi- 
tion of our hearts, and the outward convena- 
tloB and course of our lives. 

I shall speak to the former first, as the 
qsiag of the latter, keep thine heart with 
all SUgenee. For aU depends upon that \ 
for from thenee are the issues of Hfey Pkov. 
It. 221. And if so, then the regulating of 
the tongue, and eyes, and feet, and aB wffl 
fiiQow, as there it follows, ver. 24, pfit awag 
from thee afromard mouth, Th»t the im- 
pure stresms may cease from mni^g, the 
corrupt spring most be dried up* Afen may 
eonvey them away in a dose and concealed 
maimer, making them run as it were under 
ground, as they do filth under vaults and in 
ditches, seniinas et eteaeas ; but till the 
heart be renewed and purged horn base Instf, 
it will still be sending fbrth, some way or 
other, the streams of iniquity. As a fountain 
swelieth out, at easteth finrth her waters in- 
cessantly, so she easteth out her wickedness, 
says the Prophet, Jer. vi. 7, of that very 
people and city that was called holg by rea- 
son of the ordinances of €k)d and profesrion 
of the true religion that was amongst them : 
And tlierefine it is the same Prophet's advice 
fiiom the Lord, ^ Wash thine heart, O Je- 
rusalem ; how long shall thy vidn thoughts 
lodge withfai thee ?*' Jer. iv. 14. 

This is the true method, according to our 
Saviour*s doctrine, " Make the tree good, 
and then the fruits will be good ;** not till 
then : For ** who can gather grapes of thorns, 
or figs of thistles ?'* Matt. vii. 16, 17. Some 
good outward actions avail nothing, the soul 
being unrenewed : As you may stick some 
figs, or hang some clusters of grapes upon a 
thom-bush, but they cannot grow upon it. . 
In this men deceive themselves, even such 
as have some thoughts of amendment : when 
diey fidl into sin, and are reproved for if, 
they say and possibly think so too, '' 1 wiU 
take heed to myself, I will be guilty of this 
no more ;** and because they go no deeper, 
they are many of them ensnared in the same 
kind again. But however, if they do never 
commit that same sin, they do but change it 
toot some other ; as a current of waters, if you 
stop their passage one way, they rest not tiU 
they find another. The conversation can 



ns^ sad Uamelesatess of life t For the sub- 1 never be unifonnly and entirely good, tiH 



loa 



- % COMMENTARY UPON 



[ckAP. II. 



ihm-fnait otihit hbut, the ■fibctions and de- 
dica that lodge in it, be chmnged. It ii na- 
tuaUy on evil treanure of impuie luitii, and 
must in iocne kind ventaand apend what it 
hath within. It is to begin with the wrong 
end of your wotk to rectify die ootaide flnt, 
to imooth theoonTeisatioB, and not fiist o#all 
purge the heart. Evil afiectioDa are the 
iouToeof evil apeechea and actions, << Whence 
are sttifes and fightings ? (says 8l James,) 
an they not from srour luats whidi war in 
your members ?** Jam« ir. 1. Unquiet nn- 
ruly lusts within, are the cause of the un- 
quietnesses and contentions abroad in the 
world. One man will have his coirupt will, 
and another his, and thus they shodc and 
justle one another ; and by the cniss enoonn- 
ters of their purposes, as flints meeting, they 
strike out these spaiks that set all on itt. 

So then, acooidin|f to the otder of the 
^KMtle*s exhortation, the only true principle 
of all good and Christtan conTemtion in the 
world, is the mortifying of all earthly and 
jloful lusts in the heart. While they have 
possession of the heart, they do dog it, and 
atraiten it towards God and his ways ; it 
cannot walk constantly in them ; but when 
•the heart is freed from (hem, it is enlarged ; 
«nd so, as David speaks, the man is fitted 
not only to walk, but to run the wmy of God** 
^ommandmefUiy PsaL cxix. 32. And with- 
out ihi% freeing i^ the heart, a man will be 
M the best veiy uneven and inoongruous in 
his ways : in one step like a Chiiatian and 
in another like a worldling;, which ia an 
unpleasant and unprofitable way, not accord- 
ing to that word, PsaL xviii, 33. Thouhati 
eet my feei at hinde* feet; set them even, 
as the word is, not only swif^ but straight 
and even ; and that is dtie thing hererequir- 
ed, that the whole course and revolutian of 
a Christian's lUe be like himself: And that 
it may be so, the whole bodjf ofsiny and all 
, the members of it, all the deceitful luete must 
be eruc^fied. 

In the words there are three things. 1. 
One point of a Christian's ordinary enter- 
tainment in the world \Atobe evil »poken of 
jt. Their good use of that evil, to do the 
better for it. 3. The good end and certain 
effect of their so doing, the filory cf God, 
i I. One part of a Christian's ordinary treat- 
ment in this world. Whereas they epeak 
against you as evil'doers.'\ This is in gene- 
ral the disease of man's corrupt nature, and 
argues much the baseness and depravedness 
(Df it : This propension to evil-speaking one 
bf another, either blotting the best actions 
with misconstructions, or taking doubtful 
things by the left ear, not choosing the most 
favourable, but, on the contrary, the very 
harshest sense that can be put upon them. 
8ome men take more pleasure in the narrow 
eyeing of the true and real fanlte of men, 
and ihen speak of them with a kind of de-, 



light. All these kind of evil speakings are 
sudi fruits as spring from that bitter root ^ 
pride and self-love, which is naturally deep 
fHstmed in every man's heart : But besides 
this general bent to evil-speaking, there is a 
pacticular malice in the woild against those 
that aire bom of Gody which must have vent 
in calumnies and xepioaches. If this evil- 
speddng be the hissbig that is natural to the 
serpent's seed, sure, by reason of their natu* 
nd antipathy, it must be breathed fordi most 
agatnat the seed q^ the laoman, those that 
are one with Jesus Christ. If the tongues 
of the ungodly he^harp swords even to one 
another, diey will whet them sharper than 
ordinary when they are to use them against 
the righteous, to wound their name. The 
evil tongue must be alwaj^s burning that is 
set on /Ire of heU, as St. James spoils ; but 
against the godly it will be sure to be heat- 
ed seven tunes hotter than it is fior others. 
The reasons of this are, 1. Behig naturally 
haters of God, and yet unable to re^ch him, 
what wonder is it if their malice vent itself 
against his image in his children, and labour 
to blot and stain that, all they can, with the 
foulest calumnies )* 2. Because they are 
neither able nor willing themselves to attain 
unto the spotless holy lifSs of Christians, they 
bemire them, and would make them like 
themaelves, by false aspersions ; they cannot 
rise to the estate of the godly, and thereibre 
thqr endeavour to dmw them down to theirs 
by detraction. 3. The reproacfaea they cast 
upon the professors of pore religion, they 
mean mainly against religion itself, and in- 
tend by them to reflect upon it 

These evii«peakings of the woild against 
pious men prafinaing rdigion, are partly gross 
ftlsehooda invented without the least ground 
or appearanee of truth ; for the world being 
ever credulona of evil, especially upon so deep 
a prejudice as it hath against the godly, the 
fidsest and most absurd calumnies will al- 
wftys find so much belief as to make ihem 
odious, or veiy suspected at least, to such as 
know them not. This is the world's maxim, 
Lie eonfidentlgy and it will always do some- 
thing ; as a stone taken out of the mire and 
thrown against a white wall, though it stick 
not there, but rebound presently back again, 
yet it leaves a spot behind it. 

And with those kind of evil-speakings 
wen the primitive Christians surcharged, 
even with gross and horrible falsehoods ; as 
all know that know any thing of ^e history 
of those times ; even such things were report- 
od of them, as the worst of wicked men would 
■carce be goUty of. The devil, as witty aa 
he is, makes use again and again of his old 
inventions, and makes tiiem serve in several 
ages ; for so wen the Waldenaes accused of 
inhuman banquettings and beastly promiscu- 
ous undeanness, and divers things not once 
to be named among CAmdaiw, much less to 



11.1 



THB FIR6T £t»ISTL£ OF FETKR. 



109 



b» pn&dmA hj them s Ho that it is no new 
thing to meet with the impurest vilest slan<< 
den, *as the world^s teward of holiness, and 
the piaotice of pnie religion. 

Then again consider, how much more will 
the wicked insult upon the least real hlS" 
mUke9 that they can espy amongst the pio» 
tenon of godliness. And in this there is a 
Ihieeibld injury very ordinaiy. 1. Strictly 
to pry into, and maliciously to object against 
Christians, the smallest imperfections and 
fhulties of their lives, as if they pretended 
ind promised absolute peifectioi|. They do 
indeed tttnn$e themselveg (such as are 
Christians indeed,) with St. Paul, to keep a 
good e&neeienee in all thinge towards God 
and men. Acts xxiv. 16. They have a rff- 
fard unto all God*9 commandmentsy as 
David speaks, they have a sincere love to 
6od, which makes them study the exactest 
sibedienee they can reach. And this is an 
imperfect kind of perfection, it is evangelical, 
but not angelical. 9. To impute Che scan, 
dalons fiills of some particular persons to the 
whole number. It is a very short incompe- 
tent rale, Co make judgment of any one man 
himsdf by one action, much more to measure 
aD the rest of the same profession by it ; and 
they yet proceed further in this way of mis- 
judging. 3. That they impute the personal 
ftilhigs of men to their religion, and dispar- 
age it because of the faults of those tfiat pro- 
I& it ; which, as the ancients plead well, 
is the greatest injustice, and such as they 
would not be guilty of against their own 
phUoeophen. They could well distinguish 
betwixt their doctrine and the manners of 
■ome of their followers, and thus ought they 
to have dealt with Christians too. They 
ought to have- considered their religion in it- 
tfelf, and the doctrine that it teacheth, and 
had the^ ibund it vicious, the blame had 
been just $ but if it taught nothing but holi. 
ness and righteousness, then the blame of any 
miholiness or unrighteousness found amongst 
Christians was to rest upon the persons them- 
selves diat were guilty of it, and not to be 
stretched to the whole number of professors, 
ttineh leas to the religion that they professed. 
And yet this is still the custom of the world 
npon the least feiUng they can espy in the 
godly, or such as seem to be so ; much more 
with open month do they revile religion, 
npon any gross rin in any of its professors. 

But seeing this is the veiy character of a 
profene mind, and the badge of the enemies 
of religion, beware of sharing in the least 
with them in it. Give not easy entertain- 
ment to the reports of pro&ne or of mere evil 
men, against the ptofessors of religion ; they 
are undoubtedly partfal, and their testimony 
may be justly suspeeted. Lend them not a 
ready ear to receive their evil makings, 
nueh less your tongue to divulge them, and 
set thaas llmher going i Yea, take heed 



that you take not' pleasure' in any'tKe least 
kind of scoffs, against the sinceri^ and power 
of religion. And all of you that derire to 
walk as Christians, be very wary, that you 
wrong not one another, and help not tha 
wicked against you, by your mutual misoon* 
structions and misoensures one of another. 
Far be it fh>m you to take pleasure in hear, 
ing othen evil spoken of, whether unjustly, 
or though it be some way deservedly ; yet 
let it be always grievous to you, and no way 
pleasing to hear such things, much less to 
speak of them. It ia the devil*s delight to 
be pleased with evil^speddngs. The Syrian 
calls him an akal kartga^ eater of elandere 
or ealumniee. They are a dish ^at pleases 
his palate, and men are natundly fond of hH 
diet. In PsaL xxxv. 6, there is a word that 
is rendered ftwekers ai feaaUy or feattinffm 
moekere ; that feasted men> ean at th^t 
meetings with speaking of the feults of otheri 
sooffingly, and therefere shared with them of 
their oskes, or feasts, as the word is ; but tO 
a renewed Christian mind, that hath a new 
taste, and all its senses new, there is nothing 
more unsavoury, riian tbhearthedefianing<rf 
others, ^fijpedsJly of such as pn^ss religion; 
IMd the law of love possess our hearts, it 
would regulate our ear ancT tongue, and'mako 
them most tender of the name of our brethren ; 
it would teach us the ihculty of covering their 
infirmities, and judging favourably ; taking 
always the best side and most charitable 
sense of their actions ; it would teach us to 
blunt the sharp edge of our censures uponf 
ourselves, our own hard hearts and rebellions 
wills within, that they might remain no more 
sharp against others, than is needful for their 
good. 

And this would cut short those diat are 
without, from a great deal of provisions of 
evil-speaking against Christians, that ihtrf 
many times are fhrnished with by themselves ^ 
through their uncharitable carriage one to-' 
wards another. However, this being the 
hard measure that they always find in tho 
worid, it is their wisdom to consider it aright, 
and to study that good which, according to 
the aposile*8 advice, may be extracted out of 
it, and diat is the second thing tobe spoken to. 

II. Their good use of that evil. Having 
gour eonvereaHon honest among the Gen-- 
Hies.} As the sovereign power of drawing 
good out of evil resides In God, and arguet 
his primitive goodness, so he teacheth bio 
own children some faculty this way, that 
they may resemble him in it. He teacheth* 
them to draw sweetness out of their bitterest^ 
afflictions, and increase of inward peace fVom 
their outward troubles. And as these buf- 
fetings of the tongue are no small part of 
their sufferings, so they reap no small benefit 
by them many ways s particularly in this one, 
that diey order their conversation die better^' 
and walk the mow exactly for ifi 



11* 



A COIUUBNTARY UPON 



[CAXF. St; 



And diU BO doubt in divine pnvidfneels 
lamded and ofdend for their good, as an 
all ihax other triali. The thvp oennixea 
■id eriUtpcakings that a Christian is eneom« 
passed widi in the world, is no other than a 
hedge of thorns set on every side, that he go 
not out of his way, but keep stzai^t on it 
betwixt them, not declining to the right hand 
nor to thel^tf whereas, if they found no- 
thing but the fhvour and good opinion of the 
wodd, they might, as in away unhedged, be 
aabgeet to expatiate and wander out into the 
meadows of carnal pleasores that axe about 
them, that would call and alluxe them, and 
often amuse them from their journey. 

And thus it might fall out that Christians 
would deserve censure and evil^apeakings the 
more, if they did not usually safe them un- 
deserved. This then turns into a great ad- 
vantage to them, mal^trg them more answer- 
able to those two things that our Saviour joins 
towatoh and pray. Matt. xxvi. 41, to be the 
more vigilant over themselves, and the more 
earnest with Ood, fur his watching over them, 
and conducting of them; make mp wags 
^traiffhty says David, beeauee of mine ene^ 
«Mea, PsaL v. 8. The word is my observere, 
er as these scan my ways, every fbot of them, 
that examine them as a verse, or as a song of 
music ; if there be but a wrong measure in 
them, they will uot let it slip, but will be 
sure to maik it. 

And if the enemies of the godly wait for 
their halting, shaU not they scan their own 
paths thcmsdivesy that they may not halt; 
and examine them, to order them, as the 
wicked do to censure them ; still depending 
wholly upon the Spirit of God as their guide 
to lead them into all truih, and to teach diem 
howlo order their OOnvertation aright, that 
It may be all of apiece, holy and blameless, 
and still Uke itMlf ? 

MoneeL] Fair or beautiftil: the same 
word doth fitly signify goodness and beauty : 
For that which is the truest and most lasting 
beauty, grows fresher in old age, as the Psal- 
niitt wgSukM of the righteous, Psal. xdL aa 
treee planted inthe house qf God, Could the 
beauty of virtne be seen, said a philosopher, 
it would draw all to love it. A Christian 
holy oonveraation hath such a beauty, as when 
they that are strangers to it begin to discern it 
any thing aright, they cannot choose but love 
it ; and where it begets not love, yet it silen- 
ces calumny, or at least evinces its folsehood. 

The gof^ess or beauty of a Christian's 
oonversation consisting in symmetry and oon- 
fonnjty to the word of Ood as iu rule, he 
ought diligently to study that rule, and to 
square his ways by it ; not to walk at rsndom, 
but to apply that rule to every step at home 
and abroaiil, and to be as careful to keep the 
beauty of his wmjrs unspotted as those 
iromen are of their faces and attire, that aie 
most studious of comeUnoss. 



But so for are we that csB oafsehet CMft> 
taana from this exact regard of our csnvem 
don, that the most part not only have many 
foul spots, but they themselves, and all theb 
ways, are nothing but defilement, all one 
spot, as our apo^e caUs them, blott are 
they and tpots, 2 Pet. ii. 13, and even they 
that are Christians indeed, yet are not so 
watchful and accurate in all their ways as be* 
comes, but stain their holy prof etaion eithec 
with pride or oovetousness, or contentions, ot 
some other such like unoomdiness. 

Let us all therefore resolve more to study 
this good and comely oonversation the apostle 
here exhorts to, that it may be such as he» 
eometh the goepei ^ Chriet, as St. Paul de- 
sires his Philippians, i. 27. And if you live 
amongst profane persons, that will be to you 
as the unbelieving Gentiles were to these be« 
lieving Jews that lived amongst them, tra- 
ducers of you, and given to w^ek evil of you, 
and of religion in you, trouble not youndves 
with many apologies and clearings, when 
you are evil spoken of, but let the tract of 
your life answer lor you, your honeet and 
blameless oonversation : That wUl be the 
shortest and most real and effectual way of 
confuting all obloquies. As when one In the 
schools was proving by a sophistical argu* 
ment, that there could be no motion, the 
phihMopher answered fully and shortfy, by 
rising up and walking. If thou wouldst pay 
them home, this is a kind of revenge not 
only allowed thee, but recommended to thee ; 
be avenged on evil-speakings by well doing, 
shame Stem from it. It was a king that 



said. It teas kingly to do well and be itt 
spoke q/1 Well may Christians acknow- 
ledge it to be true, when they oonsider, that 
it was the lot of their King, Jesus Christ « 
and well may they be content, seeing ho 
hath made them likewise kings, as we hestd, 
ver. 9, to be confomiable to him in this too* 
This kingly way of sufforing, to be unjustly 
evil spoken of, and still to go on in doii^ 
the more good, always aiming in so doing» on 
our Lord did, at the glory of our heavenly 
Father, that Is the third thing. 

III. The good end or certain effect of this 
oare recommended, << That they may gleri^ 
God in the day of their visitation.'* He aaya 
not, they riiaU pndse or commend you, but 
shall glorify God. Mliat way soever this 
time, 4 this day qf visitation be taken, the 
effect itself is this, they shaU glorify God. 
It is this the apoede still holds before thdr 
eye, and that upon which a Christian doth 
willingly set his eye, and keep it fixed on it 
in all his ways ; he doth not teach them to be 
sensible of tlieir own esteem as it concerns 
themselves, but only as the glory of their 
God is interested in it. Were it not for 
this, a generous-minded Christian eould eet 
a very light rate upon all the thoughts and 
q>eeches of men concevning himj wbeth« 



JM 



TH£ FI&ST fiJ»I8TLE OF PETER. 



Ill 



md or bad; tnd could eaiQy dioim aU 
Sieir mistakes in the eonscienoe of the &voiir 
fUkd approbation of his God. " It is a small 
thing for me to be judged of man, or the 
day of man, he that jud^th me is the Lord," 
1 Cor. iv. 3. Man ha2i a day of judging, 
but it, and his judgment with it, soon paaacs 
away ; but God hath hU day, and it and his 
sentence abideth for ever, as the apostle then 
adds, as if he should say, / appial to God, 
But consideiing that die rdlgion he pro* 
fesaes, and the God whom he worships in 
that religion, are wronged by those reproaches, 
and that the calumnies cast upon Christians, 
reflect upon their Lord; this is the thing 
that makes him sensible he feels on that sidie 
only ; the reproaches of them thai reproach 
thee are fallen upon me, says the Psalmist : 
And this makey a Christian desirous, even 
to men, to Tindicate his religion and his 
God, without regard to himself; because 
he may say, the ^ reproaches of them that 
reproach (mly me, have fallen upon thee,** 
PsaL Ixlx. 9. 

This is his intent in the. holiness and inte- 
grity of his life, that God may be glorified ; 
8iis is the axis about which all this good 
conversation moves and turns continually. 
. And he that Ibrgets this, let his conver- 
sation be never so plausible and spoUess, 
knows not what it is to be a Christian ; as 
they lay of the eagles, who try their young 
ones whether they be of the right kind or 
not, by holding them before the sun, and if 
they can look stedfastly upon it, they own 
them, if not they throw them away. This 
is the true evidence of an upiight and real 
Christian, to have a stedfast eye on the glory 
of God, the Falher of lights. In all Let 
God be glor\fiedy sajrs the Christian, and 
that suffices : That is . the sum of his de- 
sires; he is far from glorying in himself, 
or seeking to raise himself, for he knows 
that of himself he is nothing, but by the 
free grace qf God he is what he is. 
'^Whence any glorying to thee, rottenness 
and dost ?*' says Sl Bernard : " Wlience is 
It to thee if thou art holy ? Is it not the 
Holy Spirit that hath sanctified thee? if 
thou couldst wodc miracles, though they 
were done, by thy hand, yet it were not by 
thy power, but by the power of God.*' 

To the end that my glory may sing praise 
unto theCi says David, Psal. xxx. 12. 
V^'hether his tongue, or his soul, or both* 
What he calls his glory he shews us ; and 
what use he hath for it, namely to give the 
Lord glory, to sing his praises, and that then 
it was truly David's glory when it was so 
employed, in giving glcnry to him, whose 
peculiar due glory is. What have we to do 
in the world as his creatures, once and again 
liis creatures, his new creatures, created unto 
good works, (£ph. iL 10) but to exercise our- 
lelves in those, and by those to adyanee his 



l^oty? that all may return to htan, ftom 
whom all is, as the liyars run back to tha 
sea fifom whence they came. Of Iwrn and * 
through him, and therefore ybr Aim are-aO 
things^ says the aposde. Bom. xi. 36. They 
that serve base gods, seek how to advance 
and aggrandise &em. The covetous man 
strives to make his Mammon as great as ha 
can; all his thoughts and pains run upon 
that service, and so do the voluptuous and 
ambitious for theirs ; an4 shall not they that 
profess themselves to be the servants of the 
only great and the only true God, have their 
hearts much more, at least as much, pes* 
sessed with deaiiies of honouring and estalt- 
ing him P Should not this be their predomi- 
nant design and thought 2 What way riiall 
I most advance the glory of my God ; how 
shall I, that am engaged more than they 
all, set in with the heavens and the earth, 
and the othcc cnatures, to declare his excel- 
lency, his greatness, and his goodness P 

In the day of visitation.] The behold- 
ing of your good works may work this in 
them, diat they may be gained to acknow- 
ledge and embrace that religion and tiiat 
God, which for the present they reject ; but 
that it may be thua, they must be visited 
with that same light ahd grace from above, 
which hath sanctified you. This I conceive 
is the sense of thia word, diough it may be 
and is taken divers other ways by interpre- 
ters. Possibly in this day of visUaOon is 
implied ^ dearer preaching of the gospel 
amongst those Gentiles, where the dispersed 
Jews dWeU ; and that when they should 
compare the Ught of that doctrine with the ' 
light of their lives, and find the agreement 
betwixt them, that might be belpAil to theb 
effectual calling, and so they might gknify 
God : But to ihe end that they mi^t do 
this indeed, along with the word of God, 
and the good works of his people, there must 
be a particular visiting of their souls by the 
Spirit of God. Your good oonveiaation 
may be one good mean of their conversion s 
Therefore this may be a motive to that ; but , 
to make it an eifeotual mean, thia day of - 
gracious visitation must dawn upon them, 
the dap spring from on high must visit 
them, as it is Luke i. 7& 

Van. 18. Sntmit jmi i a af M unto every onlfaiinoe 

of rosQ toK the Loid't take, whatber It be to tha 

king as supreme, 
VxB. 14. Or unto govemon, as unto them that are 

sent by hfan for the punishment of evIMoM^ swi 

for the praise of them that do well. 

It is one of the falsest, and yet one of the 
commonest prejudices that the world hath 
always entertained against true religion, that 
it is an enemy to dvil power and goveow 
ment. The adversaries of the Jewa charg- 
ed this fault upon thek dty, the then seat of 
the true worship of God, Eata iv. 16. The 
Jews diaiged it upon the paeaefaeni of the 



119 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



lOHAF. If. 



CbAniaA nligioD, Aets xvii. 7, as th^ 

Cented the tame quand againtt Christ 
self. And generally the enemies of the 
Chiistians in the primitive times loaded them 
wiUi tlie slander of rebellion and contempt 
of authority : Thexefine our iqpostle descend- 
ing to particular rules of Christian life, hy 
which it may be blameless, and to sllenoe 
calumny, begins with this, not only as a 
thing of prime importance in itself, but as 
particularly fit for those he wrote to, (being 
both Jews and Christians) for the clearing 
of themselves and their religion, iubmit 

There ave in the words divers particulars 
to be considered, all concurring to press this 
main duty of obedience to magistrates ; not 
only as well consistent with tme religion, 
but as indeed inseparable from it. Not to 
pored out the words into many pieces, they 
may, I conceive, be all not unfitly compris- 
ed under these iwo, 1. The extent of this 
duty. 2. The ground of it. 
• 1. The extent of this duty to all eivil 
power^ of what kind soever, fat the time re- 
ceived and authorised ; there being no need 
of questioning what was the rise and origi- 
nal of civil power, either in the nature of it, 
or in the persons of those that are in posses- 
sion of it. For if you will trace them quite 
thiough in the succession of ages, and nar- 
rowly eye their whole cirde, there be few 
crowns in the world in which there will not 
be found some crack or other, more or less. 
If you look on those great monarchies in 
Panid^B vision, you see one of them built 
up upon the ruins of another; and all of 
them represented by terrible devouring beasts 
of monstrous shape. And whether the 
Roman empire be the fourth there, as many 
take it, or not, yet in the things spoken of 
that fourth, and the rest, it is inferior to 
none of them, enlarging itsdf by conquests 
in all parts of the world : and under it were 
the provinces to which this epistle is address- 
ed ; yet the apostle enjoins his brethren 
subjection and obedience to its authority. 

Nor is it a question so to be moved, as to 
suspend, or at all abate our obedience to 
that which possesses in the present where we 
live, what form of govenmient is most just snd 
commodious ? 

God hath been more express in the officen 
and government of his own house, his Chureh : 
But dvil sodeties he hath left at liberty, in 
the choosing and modelling of civil govern- 
ment, though always indeed over-ruling thdr 
choice and changes in that, by the secret 
hand of his wise and powerftal providence. 
Yet he hath set them no particular rule touch- 
iiig the ftame of it, only the common rules 
of equity and Justice were to be regarded, 
both in the contriving and managing of 
government; and yet though it be some 



to it, are in all things kwfiil to submit to iti 
audiority, wfaethor supreme or subordinate, 
as we have it here exivesdy, whether to th^ 
king at supreme, namdy, to the emperor; 
or to the g ov ernor s sent 6y him, which though 
a judicious interpreter refen to Ood, and idll 
not admit of any other sense, yet it seems 
most suitable both to the words and to the 
nature of the government of those provinces, 
to tske that word to him, as rdating to the 
king ; fiir the them that are sent, ansvr'ers to 
the other the king as supreme, and so is » 
very dear designment of the inferior governors 
of those times and places. And whatsoevef 
was their end that sent them, and their car- 
riage that were sent, that which the apostle 
adds, expresses the end for which they should 
be sent ^ govern, and at whidt they should 
aim in governing, as the tnie end of all 
government. Ajad though they were not 
foUy true to that end in their deportment, 
but possibly did many things unjustly, jret 
as Ood hath ordained authority for this end, 
there is always so much justice In the most 
depraved government, as is a public good, 
and therdRne puts upon inferiors an obli- 
gation to obedience ; and this leads us to 
consider, 

^diy. The ground of this duty, for the 
LonPs sake.] Now the main ground of 
submitting to human authority, is&e interest 
that divine authority hath in it ; having both 
appointed dvil government as a common good 
amongst men, and particularly commanded 
his people obedience to it, as a particular 
good to them, and a thing very suitable with 
thdr profesdon ; it is for the LortTs sake* 
This word carries the whole wdght of the 
duty, and is a counter-balance to the former, 
which seems to be therefore on purpose so 
expressed that this may answer it. Although 
civil authority, in regiod of particular forms 
of government, and Sie choice of particular 
persons to govern, is but a human ordinance, 
or man*s creature, as the word is ; yet both 
the good of government, and the duty of sub- 
jection to it, is God*s cnrdinance ; and there- 
fore, for his sake submit yourselves. 

1st, Ood hath in general itastituted €M1 
government for the good of human sodety, 
and stiU there is good in it. Tyranny is 
better than anardiy. 2dlg, It is by his pro- 
vidence that men sre advanced to places of 
authority, PsaL Ixxv. 6, 7, I>an. iv. 25, John 
xix. 11. 3<%, It is his command that obe- 
dience be yielded to them. Tit. iii. 1, dec. 
And the consideration of this ties a Christian 
to an loyalty and due obedience ; which being 
still /or the LonTs sake, cannot hold in any 
thing that is against the Lord's own com- 
mand ; ibr then kings and rulers leave their 
station. Now the subjection here Is, he suh* 
Jeet to them, v*Tdy$iTt, as it were in your rank, 
stOl in subordination to Ood x but if they go 



wftj ddbetivt in both, they that bo subject J out of that even Una, ftlkw them not. They 



Tsa. 13, 14.] 



THE FIRST EPISTliK OF PEIER. 



118 



dwt obejr the unlawful cominands of kings, 
do it in VQgaid to their gody no question ; 
but that iheir god is their belly, cm their am- 
bition, 4jr their avarice. 

But not only ought the exercise of antho- 
ritjy and submission to it, be in things just 
and lawful in themselves ; but the verj pur- 
pose of the heart, both in command and obe- 
dience, should be in the Lord, and for his 
sake. This is the only straight, and only 
SS& rule, both fi)r rulers and people to walk 
by. Would kings and theodier powers of 
the would consider the supremacy and great- 
ness of that King of whom they bold all Aeir 
crowBb and dignities, they woidd be no less 
csreful of their submission and homage to 
Mm, than they are desirous of their people's 
submission to them* 

I win not speak at all of their civil obli- 
gations to their people, and the covenant of 
justice that with good reason is betwixt them 
in the fundamentiJ constitutions of all weH or- 
dered kingdoms ; nor meddle with that point 
of the dqiendence that human authority hath 
upon the societies of men over whom it is, 
according to which it is here called man's or^ 
dinance or ereaiure, M^mwiwn n^Uu. This 
is a thing that the greatest and most abso- 
lute of princes cannot deny, that all their 
aothoiity is dependent upon the great Ood, 
both as the author of it in the general, and 
the sovereign disposer of it to particular men, 
gMng the kingdoms qf the earth to whom 
he villy Dan. iv. 25. And therefore they 
may most justly require obedience and ftalty 
of them, that they serve the Lord in fear ; 
and if diey rejoice in their dignities over 
men, yet that diey do it with trembling, in 
sense of their duty to Ood, and that they 
throw down their crowns at Uie foot of Christ, 
Me Lord's Anointed, 

And to this thqr are the more obliged, 
considering that region and the gospel d 
Christ doth so much press the duty of their 
people's obedience to them; so that they 
wrong both Christianity and thems^es veiy 
far, in mistaking it as an oiemy to their au- 
thority, when it is 80 fiff from prejudicing it 
that it confirms it, and pleads fbr it. Sure 
they do most ungratefully requite the Lord 
and his Christ, when they say, (as PsaL ii. 
3,) Let us break their bands asunder, and 
east aujay their cords from us. Whereas the 
Lord binds the cordsof kings and their author- 
ity fiut upon their people ; not the cords of 
tjrrsnny indeed, to bind the subjects as beasts 
to be sacrifices to the passion of their rulers, 
1>ttt the cords of just and due obedience to 
Iheir kings and governors. The Xiord doth, 
as you see here, bind it upon all that profess 
his name ; and strengthens it by the respect 
his people cany to hhDv>lf ; enjoining them, 
that fbr his sake they would obey their 
rulers. So that kings need not feai true re- 
ligion, that it wiU ever £svour any thing that 



can justly be called rebdlion, but on the oon* 
trary* still urgea loyalty and obedience; m 
that as they ought in duty, they may in true 
policy and wisdom, befriend true rdigiol^ 
as a special friend to their authority ; and 
hate that religion of Rome, which is indeed 
rebellion, and that Mother qf Abominjstions 
that makes the kings qf the earth drttnk 
with her eup. Rev. xvii. 2, and makes them 
dream of increase of authority while they are 
truly on the losing hand. But besides that 
they owe their power to the advancement of 
Christ's kingdom, by so employing theow 
selves as to strengthen it, they do thmiselvei 
good, th^ confirm their own thrones, when 
they erect his ; as it was said of Cosar, that 
by setting up Pompey*B statue he settled and 
f^utened his own. 

But it is an evil too natural to men, to fbr« 
get the true end and use of any good tiie 
Lord confers upon them. And thus kings 
and rulen too often consider not, for wlut 
they are exalted ; they think it is fbr diflm« 
selves, to honour and please themselves, and 
not to honour Ood, and benefit their people, 
to encourage and reward the good, as here 
it is, and punish the wicked x They are set 
on Mgh, for the good of those that are be- 
low &ein, that l^ey may be lefiteshed widi 
their li^t and influence ; as the ligfati of 
heaven are set there in the highest parts of 
the world fbr the use and benefit of Uie veiy 
lowest. Ood set them in the firmament of 
heaven, but to what end ? to give Hght upon 
the ear^ Oen. L 15. And the moontaina 
are raised above the rest of die earth, not to 
be places qfpreg and robbery, as sometimea 
they are turned to be, but to send fbrth streams 
fiom iheir springs into the valUee, PsaL 
civ. 10, and make them fertile ; the moon- 
tsins and hills, greater and lesser rulers, sn 
to send fbrth to the people the streams of 
righteousness and peace, PsaL IxxiL S. 

But it is the corruption and misery of 
man*s nature, that he doth not know, and 
can hardly be persuaded to learn, either hoir 
to command aright, or how to obey ; and no 
doubt many of diose that can see and blame 
the injustice of others in authority, would ba 
more guilty that way themselves if they had 
the same power. 

It is the pride and self-love of our naioie^ 
that begeu disobedience in inferiors, and 
violence and injustice in soperiofs. That 
depraved humour that ties to every kind of 
government a propension to a pardcuhv dis- 
ease ;. that makes royalty easily dcgencrata 
into t]rranny, and the govenment of noUea 
into faction, and popnlsr government into 
confusion. 

As dvil authority, and sub^ecdon to it, fa 
the insdtudon of Ood ; so die peaceable cor- 
respondence of those two, just,govemmeD% 
hnd due obedience, is the special gift of Ood*a 
own hand, and a prime blessing to states and 

H 



A COMHENtARY UPON 



lU 

4iggdfin»: And ibe trottbUng and iirt«- 
4vptkm of their oouisa it oim of tho highest 
pa>Mc judgments, by which the Lcrd pun- 
ishes oftentimes the other sins both of rukn 
and people. And whatsoever be the cause, 
taid on which side Merer bo the justiee of the 
cause, it cannot be looked upon, but as a 
-heavy jdagne, and die fruit of niany and 
gioat piovwations, when kings and their peo- 
ple^ that should bo a mutual blessing and 
koBonr to each other, are tinned into soourges 
oie to another, or into a devouring fif^ as 
4t is in the parable, Judges is. 10, <' Fire 
:firfng Ibrth from Ablmdech to devour the 
•men of Sheefaem, and fire fkom Shechem to 
devour Ablmdech.*' 

Vk». 15. For Bote the wmofCWU that wltow^ 
doing ye maji put to silenct Hm IgDonmce oC fool- 

] Vaa. 1& A»ftj».andMtu«to«yourlIlijt5fcir a 
cloak of nudidousneis. hut as the lenrauts oC God. 

• 

- This continues the same reason of the 

ianne Ghristisn duty i if they will obey the 

:Ii«d» then diey must obey dvil powers, Ibr 

!th«t is his win, and they wiU not deny their 

■ebligadon to him, for they are his servants, 

verb 16. The words indeed are more genenl 

daan the fonxwr, but they relate chiefly in this 

pbce to the particular in hand, so that nei- 

' th« in that kind nor in any odier they dls- 

b<iiMkr theix praftssion, and abuse their lib- 

cvty, mistaking it as an exemption from those 

'duties to which it doth more ttraitly tie 

.them« So then the point of dvil obedience, 

.and idl other good oouvcrsatian amongst men, 

19 here rseommenikd to Christians, as agreo- 

:«Us to the wiU of Ood, and the most efibc- 

4ual dettong of their professioD, and very 

t^jfteaUe to thcii Christian libcr^. 

The WiU nf Qod.] This is the str«igest 
•and moot binding resson that can be used to 
% Christian mind, that hath resigned itself 
to be governed by that rule, to have Ihe vfill 
' V God Ibr its Uw. Whatsoever is required 
of it upon that wanmnty it cannot refkae ; al-. 
though it cross a man*s own hum<wr, or his 
ffjivate itttarost, yet if his heart be subjected 
to the will of God, he will not stand with 
him in any thing. This one word from God, 
/ wiU heuM it so, silenees all, and oanies it 
against all opposition. 

It were a gieai point if we could be per- 
suaded to esteem duly of this. It were in. 
died iJl % it would make light and easy work 
' in those things that go so hardly on with us, 
.thei^h we are daily eihotted to them. la 
.It the win of God that I should live sobedy ? 
, TbMi though my own coDupt wiU and my 
.•Q«ipaiilsM be against i^ ya it must be so. 
Wins he that I forbear cuning and oaths, 
i4iot|^ il it my custom to use them ? Yet 
J miiM etifin vfaoleaoe to my custom, snd go 
igaiflil the stream of att tibeir customs that 
MS round about me, to obey his win, who 
vUb aU things justly and hoUly. WiU he 



[CHA» Jt. 



have my chsrity not only Ubersl in giving 
but in forgiving, and real and hearty in both f 
Wm he have me blet* ihem that eune me^ 
and do good to them that hate me, and hve 
mine enemies f Though the world eonnu 
it a hard tadc, and my own corrupt heaii 
possibly finds it so, yet it shaU be done; 
and not as upon unpleasant necessity, but 
willingly and cheerftilly, and with the more 
ddlfl^t because it is difficult ; for so it proves 
my obedience the more, and my love to him 
whose wiU it is. Though mine enemies 
deserve not my love, yet he that bids me 
lore them, does ; and if he wiB have this 
tiie touch-stone to try the uprightness of my 
love to him, shan it ihil there ? No, his wiB 
commands me so absdutdy, and he himself 



is so lovely, Uiat there can be nobody so un- 
lovely in themselves, or to me, but I can love 
them upon his command, and fiir his sake. 

But that it may be thus, there must be a 
renewed frame of mind, by which a man 
may renounce the world, and the (brms of it, 
and himself, and his own sinfril heart and 
its way, to study and foUow ihe only good 
and aeoeptable and perfect trill of God, 
Rom. zii. 2, to move most in that line, not 
willingly declining to any hand, to have our 
whole minds taken up in sesrching it, and 
our whde hearts in embracing It ; '^ Be ye 
not unwise, but understanding what the wiU 
of the Lord is," says the apostle, £pb. v. 
17) being about to exhort to particular duties> 
as our apostls here is doing. 

This is the task of a Christian to under- 
stand his Lord's will, and with a practical 
understanding, that he may walk in aU weU- 
pleasing unto God. Thus the apostle like- 
wise exhorts the Thessalonians patheticaHy,. 
1 Epist. chap. iv. 1, and adds, ver. 3, 
'< This is the win of God, even our sanctifl. 
cation." And then proceeds particularly 
against undeanness and deceit, &c. 

Let this then be your endeavour, to have 
your wills crudfied to whatsoever is sinftil, 
yea to wiU outward and indifferent things 
with a kind of indifilcreney ; the most things 
thai men art so stiiT in, are not worth an 
esmest wlUing. In a word, it were the only 
liappy and truly spiritual temper to have our 
WiU quite rooted out, and the wiU of God 
placed in its stead ; to have no other will 
but his, that it might constantly, yea so to 
speak, IdenticaUy foUow it in aU things. 
This is the wUl of God, therefore it is mine. 
That with ioeli'doinff ye may put to ri- 
lenoe the ignoranee offooHsh men,'] Men 
void of rdigiott have a higher sense of the 
duties of the second table, or of weU-ddng 
towards men, than of those that have imme. 
diate relation to God $ and therefore (as in 
other J^sdes) the apostle is here partleidar 
in these for ihe vindicating of rdigion to 
them that are without. Ignorance usuaUy 
is loud and prattling, making a mighty 



VSB, 1^ 16.] 



THK FIfiST E]^I8TLE OF P£T£R. 



115 



■nd ■» hftdi need d « muMttk to m^ 
i/y M the woid fiftttn imports. They 
that were nedy to speek crU of leligieny are 
celled wUks$ or fbeiuh nen i then wai per- 
▼erMoete in their ignomiee, a» the word 
mpivmt intimates. And generaOy all kind 
of eviUspeakingt, unchaAtahle cenenrtngs, 
do aigue a ibcAieh werthleee mind whence 
diey proceed; and yet they are the nsaal 
divertiMBMnt of the gieateet part of man- 
kind, and take ii|» Tcvy mveh of their cte« 
vene and diecouree ; which is an evidence of 
die baifncpe and perverscnesa dP tbeirminda. 
Far, whtwiai thoee that have most reel good. 
nesi, delight most to obsctre what is good 
and commendable in others, and to pass by 
their blfmishei^ it is the true chamoteroif 
Tils unworthy penons> (ss scurfy flies sit 
iqpan sores) to skip orcr sll the good that is 
in men, snd fasten upon their in&rmities. 

But especially doth it discovsr t^noronM 
amd foUff, to turn the failings of men to the 
disadvantage of religion ; none can be such 
enemies to it but they that know it not, and 
see not the beauty that is in it. However 
the way to lilence them we eee is by tes//* 
daing^ that silences them more than irfwle 
▼olumes of spcdogies. When a Christian 
walks irveproveably, his snemies have no 
where to fksten their teeth on hhn, but are 
forced to gnaw their own maUgnant tongues. 
As it secttxes the godly thus to stop the Isring 
months of foolish men, so it is as painful to 
them to be so stopt, asmuaUng it to bsasts, 
and punishes their malice. 

And this is a wise Chzistiatt's way, instead 
of impatient fretting at the mistskes or wiU 
Ad miscensoies of men, to keep still on in 
his cshn temper of mind, and upright course 
ofUfe^ and sQent inneoenee : This as a rock 
bnsks the waves into finm diat mar about it. 
^s/ror.) This the aposOe adds, lest any 
shoidd so ikr mistake the nature of their 
Chiistisn liberty, as to dream of an exemp- 
tion from obedience either to Ood, or to men 
ftr his sake, and according to his appointment. 
Their ibedom he grants, but would have 
them understand aright what it is. I can- 
not hoe insist at large on die spiritual free- 
dem of Christians, nor is it here needftd, 
being mentioned only for the cleaving of it in 
this point ; bnt Ibee they mn, and tk§y only 
that ait partakers of tUs liberty. // Ote 
S9n wtaks pou /re9y fcu thatt h^frte tn- 
dmiy John viii. 36 ; Ac rest are slaves to 
fialan, and the world, and their own lusts ; 
at the Israelites in Egypt, woridng in the 
day, under hsrd task-masten. 

Hack discourse and much ink hadi been 
anfit upon the debate d free willy but truly 
abdiellbsKty hhath, till the Sen sndUs Spirit 
frea it, is that miserable freedom the apostle 
sytaki e^ Bom. vL SO, << While yo were ser- 
WBIi to sil^ ye wve ftae ftem rigfa t soo m sss.** 
■B iMtiia0r iBl4<ct to the 



vile drudgery of sin, so we are condemned 
to the proper loa^is of tin; which tho 
qwstle there tells us, is demth according to 
the just sentence- of the law. But our I^nrd 
Christ was anointed fbr ^s purpose, to oei 
ttefreOf both to work and to publish liberty, 
to <^ proclaim libtfty to captives, and tho 
opening of the prison-doors to them that ara 
bound,'* Isa. lid. 1. Having paid our com« 
plete ransom, he sends his word as the mes* 
sage, and his Spirit to peribrm it, effectnaU 
ly to set us fine, to let us know it, and to 
bring us out of prison. He was bound and 
scourged as a slave or malef)k;tor to purchase 
us this Ubcrty, therelbve ought it to be our 
special care, first to have part in it, and then 
to be like it, snd stand faet In tl in ail points. 
But that we deceive not onrsdves as too 
many do that have no portion in this liberty, 
we ought to know that it is not to inordi* 
lULt* walking and licentiousness, as our 11- 
berQTy that we arc called ; but from them, 
as our thraldom; we are not called fVom 
obedience, bnt to it. Therefore beware that 
you shuffle in nodiing under this specious 
name of liberty that belongs not to It ; make 
it not a clO€Uf of moHeimunesty it is too pre- 
cious a garment for so base an us& liiberty 
is indeed Christ's livery that he siTes to all 
his fbUowers : But to live suitably to it, is 
not to live in wickedness or disobedience of 
any kind, but in obedience and hoHness ; 
you are «dled to be lAe servanie of Gody 
and that is your dignity and your liberty. 

The apoodes of this gospd of liberty glo- 
ried in Alls title, The eervtmU of Jetue 
Christ, Ihtvld, before that Psalm of praise 
for his victories snd exaltations, being 
settled on his throne, prefixes that as 
honour than all these, A Psahn of D&vidy 
the servant of the Loird, Psal. zriii. I. 
It is the only true happiness both oi kings 
and their subjects to be Ait suthjeets ; it is 
the glory of the angels to be his wnnsstertng 
spirits. The more we attain unto the ih- 
culty of serving him cheerfiilly and diligent- 
ly, the more sHll we find of this spiritual li- 
berty, and have the more joy In it. As it 
is the most honourable, it is likewise the most 
comfortaUe and most gainful service, and 
they that once know it wiH never change it 
for any other in the wor)d. Oh f that we 
could live as his servsnts, employing all our 
industry to do him service in the condition 
and place wherein h^hath set us, whatsoever 
it is ; and as firithfU servants, more coiefol 
of his affairs than of our own, accounting it 
our main business to seek the advancement 
of his glory. ** tl«ppy is the servant whom 
the master, when he cometb, shall find so 
ddng,'* Matt xxIt. 46. 

Van. 17. HonoarailnMn. Lot* tliebn«htrtioe& 
Fear God. Honour the king. 

Th» If a pMdeus duitsr of dKvhw pi«« 



116 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[OBAF. II. 



eeptt ; the whole fiiee of theheavcni ii adorn. 
ed widi ttaiS) hut they an of diffeicnt magni- 
tudee, and in aone p*ts they aie thicker set 
than in others. Thna is it likewiae in the 
holy Scriptorei: and these axe the two hooki 
that the Psalmist sets open before us, PsaL 
six. the heavens as a choice piece of the 
works of Ood instructing us, and the word 
of Ood, more full and dear than they. Here 
}s a consteUation of very bright stars near to- 
gether. These words have very briefly, and 
yet not obscured by briefness, but withal 
very pUunly, the sum of our duty, towards 
Ood and men; to men both in general, 
honour all men, and in special relations, in 
their Christian or rdigions relation, hoe the 
hrotkerhood ; and a chief civil relation, 
honour the king. And out whole duty to 
Ood comprised under the name of hie fear, 
is set in the middle betwixt these as the 
common spring of all duty to men, and of 
an due observance of it, and the sovereign 
rule by which it is to be regulated. 

I shall speak of them as they lie in the 
text. We need not labour about the con- 
nexion ; for in such variety of brief practical di- 
l«ction, it hath not such place as in doctrinal 
discourses. The aposUe having spoke of one 
particular, wherein he would have his bre- 
Aren to dear and commend thdr Christian 
profession, now accumulates these directions 
as most necessary, and after goes on to psr- 
tieular dudes <^ servants, dec But first 
observe in general, how plain and easy, and 
liow few these things are that are the rule of 
our life. Hens are no dark sentences to 
ponle the understanding, nor Isige dis- 
courses and long periods to burden Sie me- 
nuny ; they ate all plain ; then ie nothing 
vfreathed nor distorted in them, as irisdom 
speaks of her instructions, Piov. viii. 8. 

And this gives dieck to a double lolly 
amongst men, contrary the one to the other, 
but both agreeing in mistaking and wrong- 
ing the world of Ood. The one is of those 
that despise the word, and that doctrine and 
preaching that is conifbrmable to it, fiyr its 
plainnt ss and simplidty ; the odier of those 
that complain of its difficulty and darkness. 

As for the first, they certainly do not take 
the true end for which the word is designed, 
that it is the law of our life ; and it is mainly 
requisite in laws, that they be both brief and 
dear ; that it is our guide and light to happi- 
ness; and if that which ought to be our 
light be darkneety how great wUl that dark* 
nesi be I Matt. vi. 23. 

It is true, (but I am not now to insist on 
this point,) that there be dark and deep pas- 
sages in scripture, for the exerdse, yea, fbr 
the humbling, yea, for amasing and astonish- 
ing, of the sharpest sighted readers. But 
this argues mudi the pride and vanity of 
mcn*s minds, when they busy themselves only 
in those, and throw aside altogether the most 



, whieh are thetefbre Ae easiest and 
plainest truths in it. As in nature the com* 
modities that axe of the greatest necessity, 
Obd hath made most common and easiest to 
be had, so in rdigion, such instructions as 
Aese now in our hands, that are both the 
most necessary and the plainest, are given us 
to live and walk by: And by giving up 
themsdves wholly to the search of things 
that are mors obscure, and less useful, ipen 
evidence that they had rather be learned than 
holy, and have still more mind to the tree of 
knowledge, than the tree qf life. And in 
hearing of the word, are not they that ai« 
any whit more knowing than ordinary, sdll 
gaping after new notions? Something to 
add to the stock of their speculative and dis- 
coursing knowledge; loathing this daily 
manna, these profitable exhortations, and 
requiring meat for their hut. There is an 
intempersnce of the mind as well ss of the 
mouth ; you would think it, and may be, 
not spare to call it, a poor cold sermon, that 
were made up of such plain precepts as these, 
honhur all men; hoe the brotherhood; 
fear God ; honour the king : And yet this 
is the language of CK>d ; 'tis his way, this 
fbolish despicable way, by which he guides, 
and brings to heaven them that bdieve. 

Again, we have others that are still com* 
plaining of the diffieultg and darkneee of 
the word of Ood and divine truths ; to say 
nothing of Rome's doctrine, that talks thus, 
to excuse her sacrilege of stealing away the 
word from the people of Ood ; (a sensdess 
pretext, though it woe true, because the word 
is dariL of itsdf, should it therefine be made 
daiker, by locking it up in an unknown 
tongue ;) but we s^ak of the common vulgar 
excuse, that the gross ignoBsnce and prolhne- 
ness of many SMks to shxoud itsdf under, 
that they are not learned, and cannot reach 
the doctrine of the scriptures. There be 
deep mysteries there indeed ; but what s^ 
you to these things, such rules as these, 
honour aU men, &c. Are sudi as these 
riddles, that you cannot know their mean- 
ing ? rather do not all understand tiicm, and 
all neglect them ? Why set you not on to do 
these, and then you should understand mon ! 
A good understanding have all theg that do 
hie eommandmente, says the Psslmist, PsaL 
cxi. 10 ; and as one ssid weU, " The best 
way to understand the mysterious and high 
discourse in the beginning of St. Paul's 
Epistles, is to begin at the practice of these 
rules and precepts that are in the latter end 
of them." The way to attain to know mors, 
is to reeeioe the truth in the hoe of it, and 
to obey that you know. The truth is, such 
truths as these will leave you inexcusable, 
even the most ignorant of yon ; you cannot 
but know, you hear often, that you ought 
to hoe one another, and fear God, &c.$ and 
vet Tou nenx apply yonndTea in temM to 



171 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PfiTEK. 



m 



the pnctice of these things, m will appesr 
to your own consGienceB, if they deal honeet- 
Ij-with you in the pardculsm. 

Honour all men.^ Honour in a nuiower 
sense is not an uniTenal due to all, but pe- 
culiar to some kind of peisons. Of this the 
apostle speaks, Rom. xiiL 8, Render Ao- 
nour to whom honour %a duoy and that in 
different degrees, to parents, to masters, and 
other superiors. There is an honour that 
hath, aa it were, Caesar's image and super- 
sciiptkm on it, and so is porticulariy due to 
him; aa here it'fbllowB, honour /A« Idng, 
But dure is something that goes not unfldy 
mder die name of honour, generally due to 
every man widiont exception ; and it oon- 
rists, as all honour doth, pardy in inward 
esteem of them, pardy in outward behaviour 
m them. And theibrmer mnstbe die ground 
and cause of the latter. 

We owe not the same measove of esteem 
tn aU. We may, yea, we ought to take 
notice of die different outward quality, or 
inward graces and gifts of men ; nor is it a 
&olt to perceive the shallowness and weak. 
ness of men widi whom we converse, and to 
esteem more highly those on whom Ood 
hadi conferred mote of such things as are 
truly worthy of esteem : But unto die mean- 
est we do owe some measure of esteem, I. 
Negatively ; we are not to entertain despis- 
ing disdafnfal thoughts of any, how wordi- 
IcM and mean soever. As the admiring of 
men, the very best, is a fiMilish excess on the 
one hand, so the total contemning of any, 
the very poorest, is against this nde on the 
other ; for that eoniemning of vile pertons, 
die Psalmist speaks of, PuL xv. 3, and 
eommends, is the dislike and hatred of their 
sin, which is dieir vileness, and not account- 
ing diem for outward respects worthy of such 
esteem, aa their wickedness does as it were 
strip them of. 2. We are to observe and 
respect the smallest good that is in any. 
Although a Christian be never so base in 
hia outward condition, in body or mind, of 
very mean intellectuals and natural endow- 
ments ; yet they diat know the worth of spi- 
ritual things, will esteem the grace of Ood 
that is in him, in the midst of all those dis- 
advantages, aa men esteem a peari, though 
in a rough shell.. Grace carries still its own 
worth, though under a deformed body and 
lagged garments ; yea, diough they have 
but a small measure of that eid^er ; yea, the 
very lowest degree of grace, as a pearl of the 
least sise, or a small piece of gold, yet men 
win not throw it away : But, aa they say, 
the kaat shavings of gold are worth the keep- 
ing. The Jews would not willingly tread 
vpon the smallest piece of paper in their way, 
but took it up ; for possibly, said they, the 
name of God may be on it Though there 
was A little superstition in that, yet truly 
there is nothing but good i^litfion in it, if 



we api^ly it to mra. Trample not on any ; 
there may be some work of grace diere that 
dion knowestnot of. The nameof God may 
be written upon that soul thou treadest on ; 
it may be a soul that Christ diought so mu^h 
of, as to give his precious blood for it, diere*^ 
fine despise it not. Much more, I say, if 
thou canst perceive any appearance that it 
is such a one, oughtest thou to esteem it. 
Wheresoever thou findest the least trait of 
Christ's image, if thou lovest him, thou wilt 
honour it ; or if there be nothing of this to 
be found in him thou lookest on, yet observe 
what common gift of any kind God hath be- 
stowed on him, judgment, or memory, or fa- 
culty in his calling, or any such thing, for 
these in their degree are to be esteemed, and 
the person for them. And as there is no 
man so complete as to have the advantage in 
every tMng, so there is no man so low and 
unworthy but he hath something whenein he 
is preferable even to these that in odier re- 
spects axe much more excellent ; or imagine 
thou canst find nodung else in some men, 
yet honour thy own nature, esteem humanity 
in them, especially since humanity is exalt- 
ed in Christ to be one with the Deity, ac« 
count of him as a man. And, along with 
this esteem goes, 3(%, that general good-will 
and afitection that is due to men : wheteaS 
there be that do not only outwardly express, 
but inwardly bear more regard to some dog 
or horse that they love, than to poor distress- 
ed men ; and in so doing, do reflect dis- 
honour upon themselves, and upon mankind. 
The outward behaviour wherein we owe 
honour to all, is nothing but a conformity to 
diis inward temper of mind ; for he that in* 
wardly despiseth none, but esteemedi good 
that is in the' lowest, at least esteemedi diem 
in that they are men, and loves them as such^ 
will accordingly use no outward rign of dis« 
dain of any ; he will not have a scornful eye^ 
nor a reproachful tongue to move at any, not 
the meanest of his servants, nor the worst of his 
enemies ; but on the contrary, will acknow- 
ledge the good that is in every man, and give 
unto all that outward respect that is conveni- 
ent fbr them, and that they are csnable of, and 
will be ready to do them gooa as he hath 
opportunity and ability. 

But instead of walking by this rule of 
honouring aU men^ what is there almost to 
be found amongst men, but a perverse prone- 
ness to dishonour one anodier, and every maii 
ready to dishonour all men, that he may 
honour himtelfy reckoning that what he gives 
to others is lost to himself, and taking what 
he detracts fWxm others, as good booty to make 
up himself ? Set aside men's own interest, 
and that common civility diat fbr their own 
credit they use one with another, and truly 
there will be found very litde of this real re- 
spect to others, flowing from obedience to 
God, and love to men, Utde disposition to be' 



\u 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[chap. If. 



tender of their MtMm and food naiae, wid 
tbolr w^ihff mot oat own t for so tbe nUo 
i«, bttt we «haU find mutual diaettecm and 
defaming filling almost all aociattefl. 

And the bitter mot of this iniquity Is, that 
wicked Mcnraed telf4ove that dwdla in ub. 
Bvery man it natuially hia own grand idol, 
would bo estoemod ond honoured by My 
meant, and to magnify that idol «#//, kilk 
the good name-and esteem of others in aaeri* 
fiee to it. Hence is the nanow obeemng 
•ye, ftnd bcoad speaking tongue upon any 
thing that tends to the dishonour of others ( 
and whioe other things fiul, the disdainful 
upbraiding of their birth or calling, or any 
thing that comes next to hand, serves fiir a 
reproach. And hence arises a great part of 
the jars and strifes amongst men, the most 
part being drunk with an over*weening opi- 
nion of themsdves, and the unworthiest 
most { a tlnggaird (says Solomon) %$ witer 
in hit Wfn amemt ^dn 9even men that can 
vender a reatonj Piov. zxvi. 16, and not 
finding otbess of their mind, this frets and 
troublM them. They take the ready course 
to deceive themselves; for they look with 
both eyas on the ftuUngs and defeats of others, 
«nd scarce give their good qualities half an 
«ye; on the contrary, in themselves, they 
•tudj to the full their own advantages ; and 
^eir weakqeaaes and delects, as one says, 
they skip over, as children do the hard words 
in Uieir les so n , that ais troublesome to read ; 
and mfl^'ffig this uneven panllel, what won- 
der if the fssult be a gross mista^ of them* 
adves. Men miscount themselves at home, 
they reckon that they cnight to be regarded, 
and their mind should carry it ; and when 
tiiey ooroe abroad, and are erossed in this, 
this puts them out of all tamper. 

But the humble man, as he is mors oon- 
fimnable to this divine rule, so he hath more 
peace by it ; for he sets so low a rate upon 
himself in his own thoughts, that it is scarce 
possible lor any to go lower in judging of 
Kim I And theiefiw^ aa he pays doe re- 
apect to others to the full, and so gives no kind 
of quanel that way, so he challenges no such 
debt to himself and thus avoids the usual 
oontests that arise in this. Oniy bg pride 
eomes contention, says Solomon, Prov» siil. 
10. A man that will walk abroad, throw- 
ing out his arms in a crowded street, oan* 
not choose but be often justled ( but he that 
contracts himself, passes through move easily. 

Study therefore this excellent giaee of 
humility, not the personated acting of it in 
ai^eaianoe, which may be a chief agent for 
pride, but true lowliness of mind, to bo no- 
thing in your own eyes, and content to be so 
In the eyes of others. Then will you oboy 
this word ; you will esteem as is moet of aU 
men, and not be troubled thou^ all men 
disesteem you. As this humility is a pre. 
dous grace, it is the preserver of all other 



graces, and widumt It (if they oaold be villi, 
out it) they were but as a box of pusdoua 
powd^ earned in the wind widiout a oovcr,' 
in danger to be seattered and Uown avay. 
If you would have honoor, tfacR Is an ambU 
tion both allowed you and worthy of yoo, 
whosoever you axe, Kom. ii. 7 1 8 Cor. v« 
9j ^tXTtfuvKthtf other hononr, thongfa it 
have the Hebrew name ftom w«dght, is all 
too lig^t, and weighs only with cares and 
taoubles. 

XrOtM Me hrttherhomL] There is a love, 
aa we said, due to aH, indnded noder that 
wmd ofkoneuring all^ and apeculiar love So 
our Christian biethjnen, which die apoade Vaad 
calls by a like word, the Honeeheld ^fnth, 
OaL vi. 10. 

Christian brethren an united by a three- 
fold cord ; two of them are common to other 
men, but the third is the ai ro ngc st , and thdia 
peculiariy ; their bodies are descended of 
the same man, and their aouls of the same 
Ood ; but their new lifis, by which they are 
most entirely brediren, is derived from die 
same God-man Jsaus Christ : yea in him 
they are all one body, receiving life firom him 
their glorious Head, who -is eSled the first* 
bom among manjr hrethren. Bom. viii. 2lt. 
And as his unspeakable love was die source 
of this new being and fraternity, so doubt- 
less it cannot but produce indissoluble love 
among them that are partakers of it. The 
S^Hrit of love and concord is that preeioue 
ointment that rune down from the head of 
our High Priest, to the icirtt o/ hie gar-* 
ment. The life of Christ and this law of 
love is combined, and csnnot be severed. 
Can there be enmity betwixt those hearts 
that meet in him ? Why do you pretend 
yoursdves Christians, and yet remain not only 
strangers to this love, but most contrary to 
it. Inters and deveurers one of another, and 
will not be convinced of the great guiltiness 
and uncomdiness of strifes and envyings 
amongst you ? Is this the badge that Cluist 
hath left his brediren, to wrangle and malign 
one another ? Do you not know, on the con* 
trary, that they are to be known by mutual 
bve? ''By this dull an men know that you 
are my disciples, if ye love one another.** 
How often doth that beloved disciple press 
this ; he drank deep of that well-spring of 
love that was in the breast on whidi he leaned t 
and (if they relato right) be died, exhorting 
this, love one another. Oh! diat thers 
were more of this love of Christ fin our beasts, 
arising from the senseof his love to us ; and 
that would teach this mutual love more effec- 
tually, which the preaching of it may set be- 
fere us ; but without that other teaching, it 
cannot woriL it within os. MHiy do we still 
hear these things in vain ? Do we believe 
what die love of Christ did to us, and suf- 
fered for us ? And win we do nothing Ibr 
him, notfocgive a shadow, a fiuicy of injury, 



17.1 



THE naST BPISTLB OP PJBTER. 



llf 



aueb iMi • i«al fltoe, ibr hit sake P And 
lave him that wronged ua, whoever it ia, but 
cfpedaUy being one of oiix bietfaien in thia 
apDritnal tense- 
Mai^ ate the doliea of this peenliar fra* 
tcnial love ; Ihat mutual oeuTene, and ad- 
monition, aodiepiooi^ and oomfinrting, and 
other dudea whi^ are in neglect, not only 
amongst formal, but even amongst teal Gfaiit- 
tiant. liOt lit indteat mon of his Spuit who 
it Love, and that will mend thit. 

Faat Ged.] All the rnlat of equity and 
charity amongst men, ^am from n hii^ 
frinctple^ anddeptnd u|ion it $ and th^ it 
no ri^t observing of them without due at* 
gaid to th»t ; AercftM tibia word that ex- 
fRssea thet principle of dbedienee is fitly in- 
serted amongst these t The fiist obligement 
of man being to the sovereign Ma}asty of 
God that made him, and all their mutual 
dntiso one to another derived fiom that. A 
man may indeed, ftorn moml principles, be 
of a mild inoAnsive csniage, and do civil 
right i» all men : But dds answers not the 
divine rule even in these same things, and 
after the way that it requires them. The 
quritoal and teligioas oboervanoe of these 
dtttiea towards men, springs fiom a respect 
to Ood, and terminates there too, it begins 
and ends in him ; and generally ail obedienoe 
m his oonunands, both such as regulate our 
bdiavionr towards himself immediatdy, and 
such aa relate to men, doth arise from a 
holy Ibar of his name. TbeKefove this Fear 
9f Godf upon which follows necessarily ihe 
ke$ping of kU cornmandmenia^ is given us 
by 8olainon aa the total sum of man's buriness 
and duty, EccL xii. ult. and io the way to 
aolid happiness* 

It is pronounced by him totum hommisj 
the whcAe of man : After he had madeliis 
discoveries of all tilings besides under the 
sun, gone the whole circuit, and made an 
exact Talnation, he found all berides this to 
amount to notlring bmi vrnnity and vsaaHon 
^9jkr%i, The account he gives of all other 
things was only for this purpose, to iUus- 
tmte and establish this truth the more, and 
to make it the more acceptable ; to be a re* 
pose irfbr so muoh weariness, and such a 
tedious journey, and so, aa he speaks there, 
vex. 10, a word of deUght aa wdl as* a word 
of truth, that the mind might ait down and 
quiet itaelf in this fton the turmoQ and 
puisnit of Tanity, tint keepa it busy to no 
pHipose In aU otiier brings. But whereas 
then was emptinees and vanity that is just 
nothing in all other things, there was not only 
somstliing to be found, but all in' this one, 
/Ms /wr of Gody and that keeping qf hit 
eommandmenis, which is the proper fruit of 
that ftar. All the repeated dedaring of 
vanity in other things, both severally and 
altogether in that book, are but so many 
stroket to drive and ftsten riiis nail^ as it ii 



tiiere, ver. 11, this word of wisdom, wlrich 
la the sum of all, and contains all rile restt 
So Johy after a large inquest ibr wisdom, 
sesidiing for its vsin, as msn do for minsi 
of silver and geld, hath the retam of a fioit 
ksosnlMm ««l, from all the evsatures, Thi 
SM ea^Sf U ii noi m ine, Ac But in the 
dose finds he it in this, << The fear of the 
liori, that is wisdom ; and to depart from 
evil, that is uadeistsndiiig,** Job xzviil. uUL 

Under dils fear is eonrprehended all rdl* 
gion, both inward and outward, all the wov* 
ship and service of €bd, and aU the dbser» 
vwBoe of his eommandmenti, whidi Is thsiey 
Bed. xii. and dsewhers, exprssely Joined 
with it s and theiefore is included in it, when 
it is not expressed. 8o Job xxviii, t& ds* 
pariftrpm evil, that i§ underatandinff^ r». 
posting the fenner words by that. So Psat 
exi. 10, it hadi in it all holiness and obe« 
dlence, they grow all out of it. It is the 
beginning, snd it is the top or consumma* 
tion of wisdom, for the word signifies both. 

Think it not then a trivial common matter 
to speak or hear of this subject ) but take it 
at our great leeton and business here on 
earth. The best profidents in it have yet 
need to learn it better, and it requires our 
in c es sant diUgence and study all our days. 

This fear hath diiefly these things. 1. 
A reverent esteem of the Majesty of CN>d, 
whidi is a main ftindamental tiling in religion, 
that moulds the heart most powerfully to the 
obedience of his wilL 2. A firm belief of 
tiie parity of God, snd of his power and jus- 
tice, tiiat he loves holiness, and hates all 
sin, and can and will ponish it. 3. A right 
apprehension of the bitterness of his wrath, 
and the sweemess of his love t tiiat his in*< 
censed anger is the most terrible and intole- 
rable thing in the worid, absolutdy tiie most 
fbariul of all evils ; and on the other ride^ 
his love, of all good things the best, tiie most 
blessed and defightful, yea the only blessed- 
ness. Life is the name of the sweetest good 
we know, and yet tiiis hvinff kindnets is 
better than life, says David, Psal. Ixiii. 3, 
4. It supposes likewise sovereign love to 
CK>d, for his own infinite excellency and good- 
ness. 0. From all these things springs a 
most earnest desire to plesse him in aU 
things, and an unwillingness to offend him 
in the least; and because of our danger 
through the multitude and strength of temp, 
tations, and our own weakness, a continual 
edf-susf^don, a holy fear lest we should sin, 
■and a care and watchfulness that we sin not, 
and deep sorrow and speedy returning and 
humbling before him when we have sinned. 

There is indeed a base kind of fear, that 
in the usual distinction they call aetvxle 
fear : But to account all ibar of tiie judg- 
ments and wrath of Ood a servile fear, (or 
not to stand upon words) to account such a 
fear improper to the children of God, I con- 



4S0 



A COMMBNTARY UPON 



l^UAP. If/ 



oeive is a wide mistake. Indeed, to fear the 
paoiflbmenti of sin, without regsid to Ood 
and his justioe as the'inflicter of them, or to 
flnbcai to sin only because of those punish- 
ments, so as if a man can be secnied 6om 
those, he hath no othei respect to God that 
would mske him fear to offend ; this is the 
character of a slayish and base mind. 



fears it most can comprehend, and beyond 
that: So that this doth not only consist 
with the estate of the saints, but is their 
very diazacter, to tremble at the word of 
thdr Lord. The rest neglect what he says 
till death and judgment seize on them ; but 
the godly know and believe duit ''it is a 
ibarfol tUng to All into the hands of the 



Again, for a man so to ^iprehend wiathlliving God," Hd>. x. 31. 
in relation to himself, as to be still under I And though they have firm promises, and 



the horror of it in that notion, and not to 
s^pprehend redemption and deliverance by 
Jesus Christ, is to be under that spirit (Xf 
bondage which the iqjMMtle speaks of. Bom. 
viii. 15. And though a child of God may 
iat ft time be under such fear, yet the lively 
actings of faith, and persuasion of God*s 
Jove, and the feeling of reflex love to him in 
the soul, doth cast it out, acoordiog to that 
of the apostle, 1 John iv. 18, true or per- 
feet love eaeteth oitt fear. But to appre- 
Jiend the punishments the Iiord tluel^ens 
against sin as certain and true, and to con. 
4uder the greatness and feaifulness of them, 
especially the tenor of the Lord's anger and 
hot displeasure, above all punishments, and 
(though mot only, no nor diiefly ftr Uiese) 
yet in contemplation of these, as very great 
and weighty, to be afraid to offend that Ood 
who hath threatened such things as the just 
reward of sin; this, I say, is not incon- 
gruous with the estate of the sons of God, 
yea, it is their duty and their property even 
thus to fear. 

Itly This is the very end for which God 
hath published thes€ intimations of his jus- 
tice, and hath threatened to punish men i. 
they tiansgiess, to the end diey may fear 
and not transgress : So that not to look upon 
them thus, and not to be affected with them 
answerably to their intendment, were a very 
grievous sin; a slight and disregard put 
upon the words of the great God. 

2dly, Of all others, the children of God 
have the rightest and dearest knowledge of 
God, and the deepest belief of his word, and 
therefore they cannot choose but be afeaid, 
and more afraid than all others, to fall under 
the stroke of his hand. They know more 
of the greatness, and truth, and justice of 
God, than others, and therefore they fear 
when he threatens. ''My flesh trembleth 
for fear of thee, (says S^vid,) and I am 
afraid of thy judgments,*' Psal. cxix. 120 ; 
yea, they tremble when they hear the sen- 
tence against others, or see it executed upon 
them ; it moves them when they see puUie 
executions : " Knowing the terror o£ the 
Lord, we persuade men," says St. Paul, 2 
Cor. V. 11, and they cry out with Moses, 
PsaL xc 11, " Who knows the power of 
thine anger ? even according to thy fear so is 
thy wrath." It is not an imagination nor 
invention that makes men fear mote than they 
Deed ; liis wrath is as terrible as any that 



a kinffdom thai cannot be tkakeny yet they 
have still this graoe by vfhieh they serve 
God aceeptabiy vn^ remerenee and godly 
fear; even in this consideration that our 
Godf even he that is ours by peculiar eove- 
nant, t# a eoneumkng fire^ Heb. xii. 28, 2^. 

But indeed together witii thiit, yea, more 
than with this, tiiey are persuaded to fear 
the Lord, by the sense of his great love to 
them, and by the power of that love that 
works in them towards him, and is wrought 
in them by his. "They shall fear the 
Lord and his goodness in the latter days," 
Hosea iiL 0. In those days his goodness 
shall manifest itself more than before : the 
beams of his love shaill bresk ferth more 
abundantly in the days of the gospel, and 
shall beat more direcdy and hotter on the 
hearts of men, and then they shall fear him 
more, because they shall love him more. 

This fear agrees weU both with fkith and 
love, yea, they work it. Compsxe Psal. 
xxxi. 23, with PsaL xxxiv. 9, and that 
same PsaL xxxiv. ver. 8, with 9, and Psal. 
cxii. ver. 1, with 7* The heart touched 
with the load-stone of divine love, trembles 
still with this godly fbar, and yet looks fix- 
edly by faith to that star of Jacob, Jesus 
Christ, who guides it to the haven of hap- 
piness. 

The looking upon God in the fece of Jesus 
Cluist, takes off that terror of his counten- 
ance that drives men from him ; and, in the 
smiles of his love that appear through Christ, 
there is such a power as unites their hearts 
to him, but unites them so as to fear hie 
name, as the Psalmist*s prayer is, Psal. 
Ixxxvi. 11. He puts such a fear in theit 
hearts as will not cause them to depart horn, 
yea, causes that they shall not depart from 
him, Jer. xxxiL 40. 

And this is the purest and highest kind 
of godly fear, that springs horn love ; and 
though it exdttdes, not & consideration of 
wrath, as terrible in itself, and some fear of 
it, yet it may surmount it ; and doubtless 
where much of that love possesses the heart, 
it will sometimes drown the other considera- 
tion, sa that it shall scnrody be perceptible at 
all, and will oonstantiy set it aside, and per- 
suade a man purely for the goodness and love- 
liness of God, to fesr to oSaad him, thou^ 
there were no interest at all in It of a man's 
own personsl misery or happiness. 

But do we thus fear the Lord our God ? 



17.) 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF FETER. 



m 



Wlutt mean cheh- our oaths, and exoeMes, 
and naclfunnfUHi, our covetoumen, and gene- 
raOjf our unholy and unchristian oonversa* 
tkn ? This fear would make men tremble^ 
80 as to shake them out of their prafime cus- 
toms, and to shake their beloved sins out of 
their bosoms. The knowledge of the Holy 
One causes fear of him, Proy. iz. 18. 

But alas ! we know him not, and there- 
fare we fear him not. Knew we but a little 
of the great majesty of God, how holy he Is, 
and how powerful a punisher of unholiness, 
we should not dare to provoke him thus. He 
€an kUl both body and touiy and nasi them 
inio hellf as our Saviour teUs us, Matt. z. 
28 ; and he will do so with both, if we will 
not fear him, because he can do so ; and it 
is told us that we may fear, and so may not 
ied this heavy wrath. A little lively spiri- 
tual knowledge would go far and work much, 
which a great deal, sudi as ours is, doth not. 
gome sudi woid as that of Joseph would do 
much, being engraven on the heart, << 3hall 
I do this evil, and sin against God ?*' Gen. 
ZJudjL. 9. It would make a man be at no 
rocte liberty to sin in secret than m public ; 
ooi, not to dispense with the sin of his 
thongfatSy more than of the openest words or 
actions. If some grave wise man did see 
oar secret behaviour and our thoughts, should 
we not look more narrowly to them, and not 
aofier such rovings and &llies in ourselves ? 
Sure, therefore, we fiirget God*s eye, which 
we could not, if we thought of it aright, but 



before, and here he reptets it, as a spedaf 
duty of the second table, and a vindication 
of religion, which is wrongfully blamed in this 
point ; but of this before. 

This is out of question in the genersl, 
only in the measure and rule of it is the dif. 
ference; and sure they caimot possibly be 
satisfied that are so drunk with power, as to 
admit of none at all ; no measure nor mte 
for it, no banks nor channels for those riversy 
the hearta and wills of kings, to run in, but 
think, that if they like to run over all, they 
may. 

This is such a wild conceit, as destroys 
both all law of reason in human societies, 
and all religious .obUgement to the laws of 
God. For the qualification and measure, I 
shall mention no other but that in the text, 
that it be always regulated by this, that here 
goes before it the fear of G&d ; that we never 
think of any such obedience and honour dua 
to kings, as crosseth that fear that is due to 
God. * Let kings and subjects, and all know, 
that they are absolutely bound to this. It is 
spoke to kings, PsaL ii. 11, Serve the Lord 
in fear. And PsaL iz. 6, to all men, '^ fear 
before him all the earth, for he is grntt, and 
greatly to be praised, he is to be feued above 
all gods.** What is man in respect of him ? 
Shidl a worm, whoee breath is in hie nostrih^ 
stand in competition with the overliving 
God ? Shall an earthen potsherd etrive with 
hie maker $ Let the poitherdt strive with 
the potsherds qf the earthy Isa. zlv. 9. Let 



ahoold respect it more than if all men did see them work one against another, and try 



irithin.us. 

. Nor is this only the main point to be press- 
ed upon the ungodly, but the children of God 
themselves have much need to be put in mind 
of it, and to increase in it. How often do 
they abuse the indulgence of so loving a Fa- 
ther, and have not their thoughts so con- 
stantly full of him, are not in his fear, as 
Solomon advises, all the daig long, P'rov. 
xxiii. 17, but many times dip out of his 
directing hand, and wander £ram him, and 
do not BO deeply fed his displeasure, and so 
watch over oil dieir ways, as becomes them ; 
and keep dose by him, and wait on his voice 
and obey it constantly, and are not so hum- 
bled and afflicted in ^dr repentings for sin 
as this fear requires, but in a slight and su- 
perficial degree. They ofibr much lip4a- 
bour, which is but dead service to the liv- 
ing God. These are things, my beloved, 
^t concern us much, and that we ought 
seriously to lay to heart : for even they that 
are freed from condemnation, yet if they walk 
fearlessly and carelessly at any time, he hath 
ways enough to make them smart for it : 
And if there were no more, should it not 
wound them deeply, to think how they requite 
to great, so unspeakable love ? 

Honour the king.^ This was the particu- 



which is hardest, and so they shall often break 
each other; but woe to him that striveth 
with his maker. There is nothing there but 
certain perishing. As we conclude in th« 
question with Rome, of the honour duo to 
saints and angels; honour let them have, 
and good reason, but not divine honour ; not 
God*s peculiar : So in this. Give to Cmsar 
the things that are Cesar's ; but withal 
sUU, Give to God the things that are God^s^ 
Matu zzii. 21. 

But it is a misersble estate of a kingdom^ 
when debates on this head arise and increase ; 
and their happiness is, when kings and pieo- 
ple concur to honour God. '< For those that 
honour him he will honour ; and whosoever 
despises him shall be lightly esteemed,** 1 
Sam. ii. 30. 

VxR. 1& SecTsntB, te nil^eet to vour nuuton with 
all feur, not only to the good sad gfluUe, butftho- 
to the fhmanL 

Vbb. 19. For thlB b thank-worthy, if a man, for 
oamdenoe towardf God, endure grief, luflmng 

WTOQgftllly. 

Van. 80. For what glory is it, if when ye be bnf^ 
fetted for your fiudts, ye shall take It patkaOy ? 
But if when ye do wdl and wafEa for it, ye take it 
patiently, thb is acceptable with God. 



<< T£CT word (says the Psalmist) is a light 
to my feet, and a lamp to my paths,*' PsaL 



larthat the apostle pressed and insistsd.on cxiz. 105. Not only a light to please his eyes, 



A 0O11MENTAB.Y UPON 



[CHAP, n* ' 



if die exetOoit tnA§ tad ooaJbrti that ai» 
in it, bat ividial a lamp to diieet hit feet in 
the pceeepti a&d rnlet of life that it givee, to 
infenn and delight liie mind, to older liie 
ooune. That philoio|iherwai deiervedly com- 
meaded that diew knofwledge meet thii way, 
and thcRfoie was said to haift bioagfat pM* 
kwiphyftoni the doadt to dwell amongit 
men, calling it finom empty ipecolationf to a 
jtiM^*^ etiain. Thus we are taught in ipi- 
litaal knowledge by the word of Ood. The 
80O9 die etenud Word, when he oone to 
dwdl with men, and so brought life, and 
wiedom, and all blenings ftom the heavens 
down unto them, taught them, both by his 
doctrine and perfect eiample, how to walk $ 
and his i^osdes do^ eonfonnably to diia pat- 
tern, aim at diia in their holy writings ; j<nn- 
ing widi die myttcriea of feitfa thoae rules of 
life that show men die straight way to hap- 



And as it is spoken of the largeness of 
Solomon's wisdcm, that ^* he qioke of all 
trees, from the cedar in Lebanon, to the 
hyssop that grows out of the wall," 1 Kings 
iv. 33, so in this we may see the perfection 
of the Holy Scriptures, that they give those 
direcdons that are needful to aU lanks and 
sorts of men. They speak not-only of the 
duties of kings, how they ought to behave 
tfaemsdves on their thrones, and the duty of 
theii eubjects to them in that dignity, and 
how ministers and others ought to carry in 
the hauM Ujf God; but they come in to 
private houses, and give economic rules fer 
them; teaching paeeots and children, and 
masten, yea, and servants, how to acquit 
dienselves one to another. Thus here^ eer- 
•cn/#, be Mubjeei to your nuuterM. 

As this is a just plea fer all the people of 
Ood, that they have right to the use of this 
book, being so useful fer all forts, and diat 
they ought not to be barred it ; so it is a 
just plea, against a great part of those that 
bar themselves die use of it, through sloth- 
fulness and earthly.4nindedness, seeing it is 
so contcmpeied, that (faefo may be many 
diings, yea, all the main diings in it profit* 
able fer all, fitted to the use of the lowest 
estate and lowest cspadties of men. Yea, 
it takes (as we see) paidcolsr nodoe of their 
Qoudidon I stoops down ta take the meanest 
servant by the hand, to lead him in the way 
to heaven ; and not only in that part of' it, 
which is the general way of Chri^ians, but 
even In those steps of it that lie widdn the 
walk of their pardcular flailing, as here, teach, 
ing not only the duties of a Ghrisdsn, but of 
a ChirUHan servant, 

Obe. 1. The scriptures are a depth that 
few can wade fer into, and none can wade 
throu^, (as those waters, Esek. xlvii. 6,) 
but yet all may come to the brxiok and refresh 
themselves with drinking of the streams of 
its living water^ and go in a litde way, ac 



cording ta Ifaeir rtnngdi and statute. Ifoir 
this (I say) may be spoken to your shame, 
and I widi it might shame you to snumd- 
msBt : thst so many of you either use not 
die sa iptm e s at all, or in using do not use 
diem ( turn over the leaves, and it may be 
run through the lines, and consider not what 
they advise you. Masters, learn your port, 
and serfants too, hesiken what diey say to 
you, fer diey pass not you by, they voodi- 
safe to ipssk to yon too, but you vouch- 
safe not to hear them, and obeerve dieir voice. 
How can you diink that the reading of this 
book concerns you not, when you may hesr 
it address sudi pardcular direcdons unto 
you ? Wisdom goes not only to the gates 
of palaces, but to the common gates of die 
cities, and to the poUic highways, and ealls 
to the simpleet that she may make them wise. 
Besides that you dishonour Ood, you pre- 
judice yourselves ; fer does not tibat ne^ect 
of Ood and his word, justly procure the dis« 
order and disobedience of your servants to- 
wards you, as a fit punishment ham his 
righteous hand, although they are unrigh- 
teous, and are procuring further judgment to 
themselves in so doing t and not oidy thus 
is your neglect of die word a cause of yoor 
trouble by the justice of Ood, but in regard 
of the nature of die word, that if you woald 
respect it, and make use of it in your houses, 
it would teach your servants to respect and 
obey you, as here you see it speaks fer you $ 
and tfaerefeie you wrong both it and your- 
selves, iriien you silence it in your ihmilies. 

Obs. 2. The aposde having spoken of sub* 
jeedon to public authority, adds this of sub- 
jection to private domestic authority. It is 
a thing of much oonoemment, the right order- 
ing of femUies ; fer aU other societies, dvil 
and religious, are made up of these. Vil- 
lages, and dties, and churches, and common- 
wnldis, and kingdoms, ate but a collection 
of families ; and thesefere such as these are, 
fbr the most part, sudi must the whole so- 
cieties predominandy be. One particular 
bouse is but a veiy small part of a kingdom, 
yet the widcedness and lewdness of that 
house, be it but the meanest in it, as of ser** 
vants one or more, and though it seem but a 
enudl thing, yet goes in to make up that 
hesp of sin that provokes die wxath of Ood, 
and draws on public calamity. 

And this particularly, when it declines In- 
to disorder, proves a publie evil ; when ser- 
vants gnur genesally corrupt, and disobe* 
dient, and unfelthlbl, though they be the 
lowest part, yet die whole body of a com- 
monwealth csnnot but fed ^eiy sendUy die 
evil of it I as a msn does when his legs and 
feet grow diseased, and begin to fell him. 

We have here, 1. Their duty. t. The 
due extent of it. 3. The right principle of it. 

1#/, Thdrduty, Be e^ijeei. Keep your 
order and station under masters, and that 



l^SB. 1«.«£0.] 



THE FIJI6T EPISTLE OF PSTER. 



1» 



^riAJhtttp ind inttitd rt f ete acg of adnduid 
iwpect to thflm ; ftr ibtt U the rmy lifr of 
all obedfcaee. Thmi thdiz obedience luttfa 
Imitf diligent doing, end patient 01 Aifog ; 
both dtoM aiein that vofd, 6e «ti^c<. 0d 
ftithfullf to four utmost that wUdi ie in* 
tnatod to yon, ond obey all their jimt com- 
raandsy £m aetiea hideed goes no Ibrther ; 
bat aufo patiendy even thdr uojuBt iigo«» 
and aercritieB. .^Lnd this being die haider 
paxC of the two^ and yet a past that the aer- 
vanta of thoM tfrnei boR, many of than 
being more haidly and akviahly naed than 
any with af, (eipedaUy tlioae that -mm 
Chnstian lerraiHa luidcnmdiristianBiaatetSy) 
therelbte the apoatle inaists moat on ihiat 
and this is die extent of the obedience hoe 
raqnlTed, that it be paid to ail kind of hhm. 
tets, not la th^ good onfy, but «lw to Ae 
evili not only to obey, but to anffiir, and to 
sttfe patiently, and not only deaeived, bat 
even wvongfol and ui^iiat punishment. 

Now, because this paiticnUur ooneenis ser- 
vants, let them rafiect upon their own caniagas 
and ezfwnfne it by this rule : and tndy the 
gnsatest patt of them will be found yeiy un. 
oonfimnabk to it, being either doedy ftandu. 
lent and deoeitfiil, or gioasly stubborn and 
disobedient, abusing the leidty and nildneBS 
of their masters, or munnoTing at their just 
severity t so far are they from the patient 
endorance of the least undue word of lepioof, 
much less of shaiper pumidmient, either 
tiuly, or in their opinfon, undesetved* And 
liidy. If any that profess Tdigion dispense 
with themselves in thit^ they mistime the 
matter veiy much: ibr it ties them more, 
whether children or servants, to be most snh- 
missive and obedient even to die weast kind 
of paienSB and masters, ahoayt t« els Lord, 
not obeying sny unjust command ; thou^ 
they may and ou^ to suffer patiently (as 
it is hcce) their ufljnst Mproo& or panish* 



But «n the other side, this does ••«• j««w7, 
nsr at aH excuse, the anmerdfal austerities 
jmd unbridled passion of mastest ; it is still 
a penrerseness and crookedness in them, as 
-the word is here^ #s*A.iMir, sad must have 
its own name, and shall have its pmper re- 
ward from the sovereign Master end Lord 
of aH the woild* But diis is the second 
hnmch. 

2cr, There is also the due extent of this 
duty, namely, to tho fnmitrd. It is a mate 
defonned tldng to have -a distorted cceoked 
min^ or a frowaid iqiirit, than any crooked^ 
ness of the body. How can he that hath 
servanu under him expect their obedience, 
when he cannot command his own passion, but 
is a slave toit ? And unlsssmuch conscience 
of duty possess servants, move than is com- 
monly to be found with them, it cannot but 
work a roaster into much disalTeetion and 
dtsestccm with them, when he is of a turbu- 



lent qdiit, a ttooUtrofUo sssn JIohss, cm. 
bitlerhig his affidrs and commands with' li. 
gidnsss and passions, and ready to feakia 
thlttga by that aids that may ofiend sod 
ttouble him, thinkhig his servant slighta his 
call, when he may as well think he heasd 
him not, and upon every sfigfat oocaaion, real 
or imagined, fljning out into leproaddtal 
speediea or proud thieata, contrary to the 
aposde 6t. Paul's nde, which he sets over 
against the duty of ssrvants, Eph. vL 9^ 
'< Ferbesxlng thssatenlng, knowing tiiat your 
Master also is in heaven, and iSat dieia is 
no sespeet of persons with him :'* Think, 
tbcrelbre, when you shsU appear befbre the 
judgment-seat of Ood, that your caniaga 
shall be examined and judged, as tlicdzB; 
and think that, though w« regvd those dif* 
ftrences much of masters and senrsnts, they 
am nothing with God, they vanirii away in 
his presence* 

QoooMiet tohommde tkot io digoT t Might 
he not haine made yonr stations just eontrsry 
with a turn of his hand, snd made thee the 
serfunt, and thy servant the master : But 
we wilMngly ibiget diose dihsgs that should 
compose our minds to humility and meekness^ 
and blow them up witii such iandes as 
please and Ibed our natural vanity, and make 
us somebody in our own acconntb 

However, that Christian servant that fidls 
into the hands of a firoward master, will not 
be beaten out of hir station and duty of obe* 
diiOice by aH the hard and wrongful usage 
he meeta with, but will take that as an op* 
portenity of exeidsf ng the more obedience 
and patience, and will be the more cheeifiiUy 
patient, benuse of his innocenos, as the 
aposde here exhorts. 

Men do indeed look sometimes upon this 
as a just plea for impatience, diat they sufier 
u^fusdy, which yet is very ill Xo^c : fix*, 
at the phikiso|dier said, ^< Would any man, 
that frets because he sulfeis uqusdy, wish 
to deserve it, that he might be patient 1^' 
Now to hear them, they seem to speak so^ 
when they exdaim, that the diing which 
vexeth them moot, is, that they have net d^ 
served sny such thing as is indicted cm them : 
Truly desert of punishment may make a man 
more siknt upon it, but innocence, dghdy 
considered, makes him mole patient Guilti- 
ness stops aman*s month indeed in saffering: 
But sure it doth not ^et his mind ; on the 
contrary, it is that which mainly distuibs snd 
grieves him, it is the sting of sudbring, as 
sin is said to be of deadi» 1 Cos* xv. M. 
And thenefiite, i^cn there ia no guilt, the 
pain of siififsings cnonot but bemudi absted; 
ysa, the mrastle here'dedsres, that to suffier 
undeservedly, and withsl patiendy, is gU^ 
rious to a man, and acceptable to God. It 
is commendable indeed to be truly patient 
even in deserved sudbrings ; but the deser- 
ving them, tarnishes the lustre of that pa- 



ISi 



A COBIMENTABY WOK 



[chap, nl 



tience^ and* makes it look mote like cmiBtxiint, 
which ia the apoatle** meaning, pEefenitig 
apodeaa auileiingmach befise it. And that 
is indeed the tnxe ghny of it, that it pleaseth 
God ; so that it is rendered in the dose of 
die 20th vene for the oiherword d glory in 
the beginning of it ; it is a pleasing thing 
in 6od*s eyes, and therdbre be will thank a 
man for it, M the word is, x^** ^*f^ ^'f- 
Though we owe all our patience under idl 
kind of afflictions as a doty to him, and 
though that grace is his own p& ; yet he 
hadi obliged himself by his royal woid, not 
only to accept of it, but to praise it, and re- 
ward it in his children. Though they lose 
their thanks at the world*s hands, and be ra- 
ther seoflfed and taunted in all their doings and 
soffaings, it is no matter ; they can expect 
no other thcxe ; but their reward ii on hiphy 
in the sure and faithful hand of their Lord. 

How often do men work earnestly, and do 
and suffer much for the uncertain wages of 
glory and thanks amongst men 1 and how 
many of diem iUl short of thdr reckoning ; 
either djring before they come to that state 
where they think to fond it, or not finding it 
where they looked for it, so do but live to 
fod die pain of their disappointment. Or if 
daey do attain their end, such glory and 
thanks as men have to give them, what »- 
mounts it to ? Is it any other but a handful 
of nothing, the breath of their mouths, and 
diemselves much like it,' a vapour dying out 
in the air P The most real thanks they give^ 
their solidest rewards, tat but such as a man 
cannot take hoihe widi him ; if they go so 
far with him, yet at forthest he must leave 
them at the door, when he is to enter his 
everlaisting home. All the riches, and pa- 
laces, and monuments of honour that hebiad, 
and that are erected to him after death, as 
if he had then some interest in them, reach 
him not at alL Enjoy them who will, he 
does not, '* he hath no portion of all that is 
done under the sun e*' his own end is to him 
the end of the woild. 

But he diat would hare abiding gloiy and 
•thanks, must turn his eye another way fbr 
them. All men desire ghnyy but most know 
neither what it is, nor how it is to be sought. 
He is upon the only right bargain of tliis 
kind, whote jpraittf, according to St. Paul's 
word, is not of men but of God, Rom. ii. 
^. If men commend him not, he accounts 
it no loss, and no gain if they do ; for he is 
bound for a country where that coin goes not, 
and whither he cannot carry it ; and there- 
fore he gatheis it not. That wliich he seeks 
in all, is, diat he may be ^ppiVTed and ao- 
eepted of Gody 2 Cor, t. 9 ; whose thanks 
is no less to the least of those he accepts, 
4han a crown of unfading glory ; not a poor 
servant that ften his name, and is obedient 
and patient for bis sake, but shall be so re- 
warded. 



There be some kin^ of graces and good 
acdons that men (sudi as regard any grace) 
take special notice of, and commend highly, 
such as are of a magnlfic and remarkaUe 
nature, as martyrdom, or doing or suffering 
for rdigioo in some public way. There be 
again other obscure graces, that if men de- 
spise not, yet they esteem not much, as 
meekness, gentleness, and patience under 
private crosses, known to ttw at none t and 
yet these ate of great account with God, and 
therefore sluMdd be so with us. These sre 
indeed of more universal use ; whereas the 
other are but fbr high times, as we say, for 
rare occasions : These are every one's work, 
but few are called to the acting of the other. 
And the least of diem diall not lose their 
reward, in whose person soever, as St Paul 
teBs us, speaking of dtis same subject, £ph. 
vi. 8, " Knowing tliat whatsoever good tldng 
any man doth, &e same shall he recdve dt 
the Lord, whether he be bond or fkee." 

This is the bounty of that great Blaster 
we serve : For what sre we, and all- we can 
do, that there diould be a name of a reward 
to it ? Yet he keeps all in reckoning ; not 
a poor lame prayer, not a tear, nor a sigfa^ 
poured forth before him, dull be lost Not 
any cross fkom his own hand immediately, 
or coming through men's hands, that is taken, 
what way soever it come, as out of His hand, 
and carried patiendy, yea and welcomed and 
embraced for his sake, but he observes our 
so entertaining of it Not an injury that the 
meanest servant bears duistianly, but goes 
upon account with him, and he sets them so^ 
as that they bear much value through his 
esteem snd way of redconing them, diougfa 
in themsdves they are sU less than nothing ; 
as a worthless counter stands fhr hundrdb 
or thousands, according to the place you set It 
in. Hi^y they that have to deal with sudi 
a Lord, and, be they servants or masters, are 
vowed servants to bun. ** When he comes^ 
his reward shall be with him," Rev. xxii. 12. 
The 9d thing Is, the principle of his 
obedience and patience, for eoneeienee io» 
wardi God. 

It imports the knowledge of Ood, and of 
his will in some due measure, and a con- 
sdentious respect unto him, and his win so 
known, taking it fbr their only rule in doing 
and suffering. Wt may observe here, 

I. That this dedares to us the fineness of 
the grace of God in regard to men's outward 
quality, that he doth often bestow the riches 
ai his grace upon persons of mean condition. 
It is supposed here, that this oonsdenoe of 
God, the saving knowledge and fbar of his 
name, is to be fbnnd in servants : Therefore 
the apostle takes them within the address of 
his letter, amongst those that are eleot ac^, 
cording to the foreknowledge <(f God, chap, 
i. ver. 2, and sharers of &ose dignities' he 
mentions, ver. 9, a ehoeen generoHon, The 



18-^20.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLB OF PETER. 



125 



Jhhioiii of a spiritual loyaltj may eontist 
with the mnmiifiMi of a Mivant; and this 
grace may be oonfeRed upon the serrant, 
and denied to the maater, as is here suppos- 
ed : It may fall out that a psrvene ceooked- 
minded master may have a servant upright- 
ly minded, being endued with a tenda le- 
speetf ul conscience towards €h>d ; and thus 
the Lord counteiafCts the pride of man, and 
sets off the lustre of his own free grace. He 
hadi an to choose on, and yet chooses there, 
where men would least imagine it, Matthew 
zi. 26 ; 1 Cor. i. 27. 

2. Grace finds a way to exert itfdf in 
•veij estate when it is, and regulates the 
soul to the particular duties of that estate. 
If it find a man high or low, a master or a 
servant, it requires not a change of his sta- 
tion, but works a change on his heart, and 
teadies him how to live in it. The same spi- 
rit that makes a Christian master pious, and 
gentle, and prudent in commanding, makes 
a Christian servant fkithful, and obsequious, 
and diligent in obeying. A skilful engraver 
makes you a statue indifferently of wood, or 
stone, or marble, as they are put into his 
hsnd ; and grace forms a man to a christian 
way oif walking in .any estate. There is a 
way in him, in the meanest condition, to 
glOTify God, and to adorn the profession of 
religion ; no estate so low as to be shut out 
from that ; and a right informed, and right 
affected conscience towards God, shews a 
man that way, and causes him to walk in 
it. As the astrologen say, that the same 
stars that made Cyrus to be chosen king 
amongst the armies of men when he came to 
be a man, made him to be chosen king 
smongst the shepherds* children when he was 
a diild. Thus grace will have its proper 
operation in every estate. 

In this men readily deceive themselves; 
they can do any thing well in imagination, 
better than the real task that is in their 
hands. They -presume, that they could do 
Crod good service in some place of command, 
that serve him not as becomes in that which 
is by fitf the easier, the place of obeying, 
wherein he hath set them ; they think if they 
had the ability and opportunities that some 
men have, they would do much more fkx re- 
ligion and for God than they do, and yet do 
nothing, but spoil a far lower part than that 
which is their own, end is given them to 
study and act aright in. But our folly and 
sdf-lgQorance abuses us ; it is not our part 
to choose what we should be, but to be what 
we are, to his glory, that gives us to be such : 
^ thy condition never so mean, yet thy 
conscience towards God, if it be within thee, 
will find itself work in that. If it be little 
t|iat is entrusted to thee, in reward of thy 
outward condition, or any other way, be tk<m 
faiihfui in that HttUf as our Saviour speaks, 
4ikd thy reward shall not be little; "ha 



shall make thee ruler over mud^** Mat. 
XXV. 23. ' 

3. As a oonupt mind debaseth the best 
and most excellent callings and actions, so 
the lowest an raised above tfaemselveB, and 
ennobled by a spiritual mind. A magistnte 
or minister, thon^ their caUing and em- 
ployments be high, maj have low intentions ; 
and draw down their high calling to these 
low intentions; they may seek themselves, 
sad self-ends, and neglect God. And a 
sincere Christiaa may elevate his low call- 
ing, by this conscience of God, observing 
his will, and intending his glory in it. An 
eagle may fly high, and yet have its eyes 
down upon some csrrion oo the earth ; even 
so, a man may be standing on the earth, 
anid on some low port of it, and yet have his 
eye upon heaven, and be contemplating it. 
That whieh one man eannot we in another, 
is the very thing that is most considerable in 
their actions, namely, the jtrinciple whence 
they flow, and the end to iriiieh they tend. 
This is the fonn and life of actions, that by 
which they are earthly or heavenly. What- 
soever be the matter of them, the spiritual 
mind hath that alchymy indeed, of turning 
base metals into gold, earthly employments 
into heavenly. The handy-work of an ar- 
tisan or servant that regards Gk>d, and eyes 
him, even in that work, is much holier than 
the prayer of an hypderite ; and a servant 
enduring the private wrongs and harshnesi 
of a fh>ward master, bearing it patiently flit 
the conscience of God, is more acceptable to 
God, than the sufferings of such, as may 
endure much for a public good cause, with- 
out a good and upright heart. 

This habit and posture of the heart to- 
wards God, the apostle St. Paul presses 
much upon servants, £ph. vi. 8, as being 
very needful to allay the hard labour and 
harsh usage of many of them« This is the 
way to m^e them easy, to undei^ them fbr 
God. There is no pill so bitter, but respect 
and love to God wiU sweeten it. And this 
is a very great refreshment and comfort to a 
Christian in the mean estate of a servant, or 
other labouring men, that they may offer up 
their hardship and bodily labour as a sacrifice 
to God, and say, " Lord, this is the station 
wherein thou hast set me in the world, and 
I desire to serve thee in it. What I do is 
for thee, and what I sufier I desire to bear 
patiently and cheerfiilly fbr thy sakej in sub- 
mission and obedience to thy will.** 

For coneeienee,} In this there is, I. A 
reverent compliance with €K>d*B disposal, both 
in sllottlng to them that condition of life, and 
particularly choosing their master for them ; 
though possibly not the mildest and pleasant- 
est, yet the fittest for their good. There la 
much in the firm believing of this, and hearty 
submitting to it : For we would natiiraDy 
father erave for ourselves, and shi^ our owa 



IM 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



tb our mind, wIMt it % mott Iboliihy 
yea, an impioui ptesumpdoo, as if w« wen 
wiser than he that hath done it ; and as if 
wore not aa amdi, and, it may bc^ 
pogaibility of true eonteiitineDt in a 
than in a fiur higher condition. The 
maiter*s mind ia oAen meie tolled than the 
ier?attt*i body* Bat if our conditioB be ap^ 
pointed ut, at leaat we would hare a voice in 
•ome qoallficationa and circumatanoei of it : 
A* in this, if a man muat eerve^ he would 
wiah willingly, that God would aQot him a 
meek gentle master ; and so in other things. 
If we must be sick, we woold be well ae- 
eommodated, and not want helps ; but to 
have sickness, and want means and frienda 
£or our help, this we cannot think of widioot 
horror. But this submiasion to Qod is never 
Tight tiU all be given op into his hsad that 



[chap, n." 

than his master: The servant nay hope 
fer, and aim at a kingdom, while the mastsf 
is embracing a dangUU. And they that am 
thus, think highfy of God*s ftee graoe ; and 
the looking even to that inberitanee makcfl 
them go I Hum ft illy through all pains and 
tnmblea here^ as Mghi sad momeniarg^, and 
net worth the naming in oompariaon of likal 
ffhry thai shatt b€ revttUed, Rom. viii. 10 
.«*18. In the mean time, the best and mosC 
easy oonditicsi of the sons of Ood cannoC 
satkfylheni, norstay their sighs andprooiif, 
waiting and longing for thai 4ay of their 
fuir rmhmpHony ib. w. 23. 

Now, this is the great mle^ not only for 
i, but finr all die servanta of God, is 
what eetaie sosver, to mi ihs Lofd ahia^e 
b^fon ihemy PsaL xvL 8, and to study with 
St. Paul, to Aaee a comeieneg void of ^* 



oonoeras us, to do wiih it, and every article /mee towwrdt Godandwum, Acts zziv. \6 ; 



and drcumstanee of it, as seems good in his 
ayes. 2. In this oofuetenee^ is a rdigioua and 
pbservant respect to the rule God hath set 
men to walk by in that condidon ; so that 
their obedience dqiends not upon any exter- 
nal inducement, fiiiling when that fidls, but 
flows from an inward impression of the law 
of God upon the heart. Thus, a servant's 
obedience and padence will not be pinned to 
the goodness and equity of his maater, but, 
when that fails, will subsist upon its own in- 
ward ground ; and so generally in all other 
estates. This is the thing that makes sure 
and constant walking; makes a man step 
even in the ways of God. When a man*a 
obed i en c e springs from that unfitiling, un- 
changing reason^ the command of God, it is 
a natural modon; and therdbce keeps on, 
and rather grows than abates i But diey 
that are moved by things outward mast often 
tail ; because these things are not constant 
in their moving; as far instance, when a 
people are mudi actuated by the spirit of 
their rulers, as the Jews when they had good 
kings. 3. In this is a tender caie of the 
glory of God, and the adomment of religion, 
which die ajxistle premised befigre these par- 
dcular dudes, as a thing to be spedally re- 
garded in them. The honour of our Lord's 
name is that we should set up, as the mark 
to aim all our acdons at : But alas ! either 
we think not on it, or our hearts slip out, and 
start from their aim, Hke botee ^ deeeity as 
die word is, Isa. Izxviii. 67. 4. There is 
the oomlbrtable pcrsuasian of God*s approba- 
don and acceptance, as it is ezpsessed in the 
fdlowing verse, (of which somewhat before,) 
and die hope of that reward he hadi promis- 
ed, as it is, CkiL iii. 24» to servants, Know^ 
kig that of the Lord ifethaU receive the in^ 
heritanee, for pe serve the Lord ChrieL No 
Istt than the inheritanae. So th«i such 
servants as these, are oone andheirs ^ Ged^ 
ee-heire with Christ. Thus, he diat is a 
pervant may be ia a ftr man exoelk&t state 



to eye, and to apply constantly to their ac- 
dons and dieir inward thoughts, the com- 
mand of God ; to walk by that rule abroad, 
and at home in dicir houses, and in the se- 
veral ways of their calling; aa an exact work- 
man is ever and anon applying his rule to 
hia work, and squaring it ; and flvm oon- 
sdenee towards God, to do and suffer his will 
cheerfully in every thing, being content that 
he chooee their condition and dieb trials fbc 
them : only desirous to be assured, that he 
hath chosen diem for his own, uid given 
them right to the glerieus liberty ef the sons 
qf God, Rom. viii. 21, still endeavouring to 
walk in diat way that leads to it ; overlook- 
ing this momentf and all things in it ; ac- 
counting it a very indifticnt matter what is 
their outward state here in this moment, proi* 
vided they may be hiq>py in eternity. Whe. 
ther we be hi^ or low here, bond or free. It 
imports litde, seeing all diese difoenoes wiU 
be so quickly at an end, and there shall not be 
so much as any track or footstep of diem left 
with pardculsr men. Itissointhebgmves) 
you may dutingnish the greater from the less 
by their tombs, but by their dust you cannot : 
And with the whole world it ahall be so in 
the end. AH monuments snd palaces, with 
cottages, shall be made fire, as our apostle 
teDs us: The elements shatt melt teith 
fervent heat, and the earth and all the 
toorks therein shall be burnt vpy t Pet iii. 
10. 



Yaa. 81. For evm honuBtoinee ye eallid} 
onus Chriit abo tuftared for lUrltavlagosai 
ample, that ye should fbBow his stqa : 

Yaa. SB. Whodidnoiia, adtlMVWi 
in hit mouth: 

Taa. SS. Who» when be wm reviled, rwHed aot 
agidDi when he enOfed, be ttueetoned not : but 
ooaunhtMl himeeir Co Uim that Jadfeth d^Caow- 

ly. 

Tbx rules diat God hadi set men to Vif& 
by are untversally just, and thers is an uni- 
venal obligation upon all men to obey diem t 
but M diey an paidculaiiy addKMcd to hit 



TWI.S1-4S3.] 



THE • FUST CPISTLB OF PBTER. 



187 



ifMiipediiittiiiliisiPord^ IJUyaivoat of qua- 
tloD pnticularly bound to^ yield obedioicc, 
«iid have numy pecqlig penuslYes to it, 
tiiat extand not to oUkcn, whidi an tbcso^ 
im nmudly Rptewnted to them, and pmaed 
upon them in the hoty sciiptiiiiee. Thus the 
pRftoe of the laws nma to Isnel ; betides 
thaty / am J^hovahf and have sajpieme power 
to give men laws, is added, / am ihy God, 
especially thy Delivobr fimn sbrrery and 
bondage, and so have a peculiar lig^t to thy 
obedienoe ; so Deut. vii. 6. Thus theapos* 
tie here urgeth this point in hand, of inofibn. 
slvenen and paUenoe, particularly in Chris- 
tian sewanta .- But so aa it fits every Chris* 
tian in his station^ for hereunto, says he, y# 
mre called* Whatsoever oihen do^ though 
they think this too stiait a rule, yet you are 
tied to it by yourown calling and profession, 
asyott are Cluistians; and this is evidently the 
highest and desrest reason that can bcs, and 
of greatest power with a Chiistiaa, namely, 
the exampile of Jesus Christ himself; for 
Chriet alio emfered/or fit, &c. 
. So it is all but one entire aigument, that 
jthey ought thus to behave themselves, be- 
cause it is the very thing they are call^ to, 
as their conformity to Jesus Christ, whose 
they profess to be, yea, with whom, as Chris- 
tians, they profess themselves to be one. 

MeremUo are pe called,] This, in the 
general, is a thing that ought to be ever be« 
ftre our eye^ to eoasider the nature and end 
of our calling} and to endeavour in all things 
to suit it s to think in every oocuirenoe^ what 
doth the calling of a Christian require of me 
in this ? But the truth is, the most do not 
mind this ; we proftss ourselves to be Chris- 
tians, and never think what kind of behavi- 
our this obUges us to, and what manner of 
perK»s it becomes us to be, m o/^ holfr oon^ 
vereatutuj but walk dieerderlff out of our 
lank, inordinately* You that are profime, 
were you caUed by the gospel to serve d»e 
world and your lusts, to swearing, andrioting, 
and voluptuoumess ? Hear you not the 
apostle testifying the contrary, in express 
terms. That God hath not called ue to «m- 
cleannesf, hut unto holineatf 1 These, iv. 
7* Vott Uiat are of proud contentious spirits, 
em you suitable to this holy calling ? No^ 
for tee are called to peaoe, I Cor. vii. 16^ 
mj% the same apostle. But we study not 
this holy calling, and therefore we walk so in- 
congruously, so unlike the gospel, we lie, 
and do not the truth, as St. John speaks, 
1 John i* 6 } our actioos befie u& 
. The particular things tlMt Christians are 
here said to be called to, are amfferingta 
their lo^ and patience «s thov duty, even 
under lim most nsgust and nndeserved suf- 



And both these are as large at the sphere 
of this calling. Not only aervantsi, and 
othen of mean condition^ wboy lying low^ •» 



Am most tobjeet torlgoon and ioftiriciB, Imi * 
generslly all, who are called to godliness, aw 
likewise called to aufihrings, 9 Tim. 111. 13. 
AH that will folhiw Christ, must do it in hit 
lively ; they must Iske up their cross. This is 
a very harshand unpleasing article of the gos« 
pel t«K a carnal mind, but it conceals it not.- 
Afen are not led bUndfold upon suflTcrings, and 
drawn into a hidden snare by the goepd*s in- 
vitotions: They are told very often, that 
they may not pretond a surprisal, nor havo 
any just plea Ibr starting back again, as our 
Saviour tells bis disci]^, why he was so 
express and phin with them in this ; The»$ 
thinge^ says he, haee I told you, that you be 
not ojfkwied, John xvl. 1. I have riiewed 
yott tlio ruggcdness of your way, that yo^i 
may not stumble at it, taking it to be a plain 
smooth one : But then where this is spoke 
d, it is nsually aUayed with tne mentimi of 
those comforts that accompany diese suffer- 
ings, or that glory that foUows them. Tito 
doc t rine of the apostles, which was so exact- 
ly verified in deir own persons, was this. 
Acts xiv. 82, That through much tribula^ 
tion wemuet enter into the kingdom of God^ 
An unpleasant way indeed, if you look no 
further, but there is a kingdom at the end of 
it, and the kingdom of Ood will transfuse 
pleasure into the most painful step in this 
way. It soema a sad condition, that foils to. 
the share of godly men in the worid, to be 
eminent in sonows and troubles. Many are 
the aJHctione qfthe righteoue, Psal. xxxiv. 
19 ; but that ythith follows weighs them 
abimdandy down in consolation, that the 
Lord himself is engaged in thdr afilictions, 
both for their deliverance out of them in due 
time, and, in the mein time^ for thefar sup- 
port and preservation under them ; The Lord 
deimere them out of them alL And till he 
does that, he keepeth alt their bones, Ae. 
whidi was literally verified in the natural 
body of Christ, aa St. John observes, John 
xix. 36, and holds spiritually true in his 
mysticsl body. The Lord supports the 
spirits of l)elievers in tiicir troubles with sudi 
solid consolations, as are the pillars and 
strengdi ef their souls,' as the bones are of 
^irbody, as the Helwewword for themim« 
ports, so he keepeth all hie bonea ; and the 
desperate condition of wicked men is opposed 
to this, to illustrato it, ver. 31, But etfil thatt 
elay the wicked* 

Thus (John zvi. in iho dose,) they are 
forewamed wliat to expect at the world's 
hands, as they wire divers times before in 
that ssme sermon : But it is a sweet testa* 
ment, take it altogether, ye ehall have trU> 
hulation in the world, but peace in me; 
and seeing he hath jointly bequeathed these 
two to his fbUowers, were it not great folly 
to renounce sudi n bargain^ and to let go 
that peace for foar of this trouble ? Tho 
trouble is bat if» <A# world, but the jmom 



I2ff 



A COMMENTARY' UPON 



[dUF. m 



, who weighs down tboanndt of| A« woiid, and hmiMa Sniquitf, Mid to b«p 

wiDin^y carried along wi^ the itiem of 



worlds. 

So then, they do exceedingly mistake and 
vineckon, that would reconcile Ghiist and 



diTine Providence, and not at all to attr 

hand, no nor a thought, to row against that 

the world, that would have the Church ofl mighty current ; and not only is he csxried 
— ■ ■ - -»^ ' - -^ •- — wi& it upon necessity, because there is no 

steering against it, but cheerfuUy and rolun. 
tarily ; not because he must, but because he 
would. 

And this is the other thing to which they 
are joindy called, as to suffering, so tocoMu 
fMtf qf mind, and paHenee in auffervng, 
although their sufiering be most unjust ; yea, 
this is truly a part of that duty they are call* 
ed to, a part of that integrity and inoffen- 
siveness of life that may make their suit- 
ings at men's hands always unjnst. The 
entire duty here is innocence and patience, 
doing wilAiUy no wrong to others, and yet 
cheerifully suffering it when done to them- 
sehres. If either St the two be wsating, their 
suffering dodi not credit ^eir proftMion, 
but didionours it. If they be patient under 
deserved suffering, their guiltiness daikena 
their patience : and if their suiierings be un- 
deserved, yea, and the cause of them honour- 
able, yet impatience under them stains bodi 
their sufferings and their cause, and seems 
in part to justify the very injustice that is 
used against them : But where innooenc 
and patience meet together in sufiering, there 
sufferings are in their perfect lustre. These 
are they that honour religion, and shame the 
enemies of it. It was the concurrence of 
these two that was the very triumph of the 
martyrs in times of persecution, that tonnent- 
ed their tormentors, and made the former 
more than conquerors, Rom. viii. 87> even 
in sufferings. 

Now, tlwt we are called both to suffering, 
and to this manner of suflfering, the apostle 
puts out of question, by the supreme eiample 
of oar Lord Jesus Christ ; fer the sum of 
our calling is, to follow him. Now, in both 
these, in suffering, and in suffering innocent- 
ly and patiently, the whde history of the 
gospel testifies how complete a pattern he is. 
And the apostle gives us here a summary, 
yet a very dear account of it. 

The words have in them these two things i 
1. The perfection of this example. 2. Our 
obligation to fellow it. 

I. The example he sets off to the full, 
1. In regard of the greatness of his suffer- 
ings. 2. Of his spotlnsness and patience 
in suffering. 

The first we have in that word He tujfer* 
edf and after, ver. 24, we have hie crudiy- 
ing and his stripes expressly specified. 

Now, this is reason enough, and carries it 
beyond aU other reason, why Christians am 
called to a sufiering life, seeing the Lord 
and Author of that calling suffered himself 
so much. The Captain or Leader qf owr 
•ofoafUNii as the api>ttle qieaks, was 0Ofur« 



Christ, or at least themselves fer their own 
shares, enjoy both kinds of peace together ; 
would wiUingly have peace in Chrbt, but 
are very loath to part with the worid*s peace ; 
they would be Christians, but they are very 
iU satisfied when they hear of any thing but 
ease and prosperity in that estate, and will- 
ingly forget die tenor of the Oospel in this ; 
Mid so when times of trouUe and sufferings 
come, their minds are as new and uncouth 
to it, as if they had not been told of it before- 
hand. They like better St. Peter's carnal 
advice to Christ, to avoid suffering. Matt. 
xtI. 23, than his apostles* doctrine to thris- 
tians, teaching them, that as he tujfered, so 
they likewise are called to eujfkring. Men 
are ready to think as Peter did, that Christ 
should fevour himself more in his own body, 
his Church, than to expose it to so much 
sufiering: and most would be of Rome's 
mind in this, at least in aflfection, that the 
badge of the Church should be pomp and 
-prosperity, and not the cross ; the true cross 
of afflictions and suffinings is too heavy 
and painful. 

But God* 9 thouffhte are not ourt ; those 
whom be calls to a kingdom, he cslls to suf- 
ferings, as the way to it. He will have the 
heirs of heavoi know, they are not at home 
on earth, and that this u not their rest. 
He win not have them with the abused world, 
fency a happiness here, and seek a happy life 
in the region of death, as St. Augustin says.* 
The reproaches and wrongs that encounter 
them sliaU devato their minds often to that 
land of peace and rest, teT^ere righteouenete 
dwells, 2 Pet. iiL IS. The hard taskmasters 
shall make them weary of Egypt, (which 
otherwise possibly they would comply too well 
with,) and dispose them for deliverance, and 
make it welcome; which, it may be, they 
might but coldly desire, if they were better 
used. 

He knows what he does, who secretly 
serves his good ends of men*s evil, and, by 
the plowers that make long furrows on the 
back of bis church, PsaL cxxix. 3, makes it 
a fruitful field to himself. Therefore it is 
a great foUy and unadvisedness, to take up 
a prejudice against his way, and think it 
might be better as we would model it, and 
to complain of the order of things ; whereas 
we should complain of disordered minds ; 
but we had rather have all altered and changed 
for us, the very course of providence, than 
seek the change of our own perverse hearts t 
Whereas the right temper of a Christian is, 
to run always cross to the coizupt stream of 

; * BestamvitttnqttKnrelnrsgknenortii. 



TEB. 21_23.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



129 



eraied bp n^j/Mnff, Heb. ii. 10, that wai 
(he way by which he entered into the holy 
pUioey where he is now our everlasting 
High-priesty making interoetsion for ««. 
If he be our leader to salTatioo, must not we 
iUlow him in the way he leads, whatsoever 
it is P if it be (as we see it is) by die way 
of sufferings, we must either foUow on in 
that way, or fiiU short of salvation ; for there 
is no other leader, nor other way but that 
which he opened : So that there is not only a 
/coiigraity in it, that his followers be conform- 
ed to him in sijuflfering, but a necessity, if they 
win follow him on till they attain to glory. 
And the consideration of both these cannot 
but argue a Christian into a resolution for 
(his via regia, this royal way of suffering 
that leads to glory, through which their 
King and Lord himself went to his glory. 
It could hardly be believed at first that this 
was his way, and we can as hardly yet be- 
lieve that it must be ours, Luke xxiv. 25, 
26, " O fools and slow of heart to believe ! 
ought not Chiist to have suffered these 
things, and so enter into his glory ?** 

Would you be at glory, and wiU you not 
fdlow your leader in the only way to it ? 
Must another way be cut out for you by 
yourself? O absurd! Shall the servant, 
(says he) be greater than his master 9 John 
ziii. 16. Are not you foirly dealt witli, if 
you have a mind to Christ ? You shall have 
/iiU as much of the world's good will as he 
had z' I/it hate you, he bids you remember 
how U hated him, John xv. 18. 

But though there were a way to do other- 
wise, would you not rather choose (if the 
love of Christ possessed your hearts) to share 
with him in his lot, and would you not find 
delight in the very trouble of it ? Is not 
thivoonfotmity to Jesus the great ambition 
of an his true-hearted followers? <<We 
carry about in the body the dying of the 
Ixird Jesus,'* says the great apostle, 2 Cor. 
iv. 10. Besides the unspeakidile advantage 
to come that goes linked with this, that if we 
Sfuffer with Atm, we shall reign with him, 
2 Tim. ii. 12. There is a glory, even in 
lihu present resemblance, that we are oon^ 
formed to the image of the Son <^ God in 
sufferings. Why should we desire to leave 
him ? Are you not one with him ? Can you 
choose but have the same common friends 
and enemies ? Would you willingly, if it 
might be, could you find in your heart to be 
fiiends with that world that hated your Lord 
and Master ? Would yon have notliing but 
kindness and ease, where he had nothing 
but enmity and trouble ? Or, would you not 
rather, when you think right of it, refuse 
and disdain to be so uidike him ? As that 
good Duke said, when they would have 
crowned him King of Jerusalem, No, said 
he, by no means, I will not wear a erown (f 
gold where Jesus was eroioned with thorns. 



2. This spodessness and patience in snf« 
fering are both of them here set before us ; 
the one, ver. 22, the other ver. 23. 

Whosoever thou art that makett a noise 
about the injustice of what thou sufferest, 
and thinkest to justify thy impatience by thine 
innocence, let me uk thee, Art thou more 
just and innocent than him that is here set 
before thee ? Or, art thou able to come near 
him in this point, who did no sin, neither 
was guile found in his mouth 9 This is to 
signify perifect holiness, according to that. 
Jam. iii. 2. Man is by some called a little 
world ; he is indeed a world of wickedness, 
and that little part of him, the tongue, is a 
little world of iniquity. All Christ's words 
and actions, and all his thoughts, flowed 
from a pure spring that had not any thing 
defiled in it; and therefore no temptation 
either from men or Satan could seise on him. 
Other men may seem dear as long as they 
are unstirred ; but move and trouble them, 
and the mud arises ; whereas he was nothing 
but holiness, a pure fountain, all purity to 
the bottom ; and therefore, stir and trouble 
him as they would, he was still alike dear. 
*' The prince of this worid cometh, and hath 
notliing in me," John xiv. 39. 

This is the main grouiftl of our confidence 
in him, that he is a holy, harmless, unde^fiU 
ed High'prieet ; and such an one became 
us, says the apostle, Heb. vii. 26, us that 
are so sinfuL The more sinful we are, the 
more need that our High>priest should be 
sinless ; and being so, we may build upon 
his perfection, standing in our stead, yea, we 
are invested with him and his righteousness. 

Again, there was no guile found in his 
mouth. This serves to convince us concern- 
ing all the promises that he hath made us, 
that they are nothing but truth. Hath he 
said, Him that comet to me, I will in no 
wise east out 9 John vi. 37 ; — ^then you need 
not fear, how unworthy and vile soever you 
may be ; do but come to him, and you have 
his word that he will not shut the door 
against you. And as he hath promised ac- 
cess, so hath he further premised ease, and 
soul's rest, to those that come. Mat. id. 40. 
Then be confident to find that in him too, 
for there was never a false nor guilefui 
word found in his mouth. 

But to consider it only in the present ac« 
tion, this speaks him the most innocent 
sufferer that ever was, not only judirially just 
in his cause, but entirely just in his person ; 
altogether righteous, and yet condemned to 
death, and an opprobrious death of malefoc- 
tors, and set betwixt two, as chief of the 
three. / am, says he, the rote of Sharon 
and the lily of the valley. Cant. ii. I. And 
the spouse saith of him, My Well-beloved 
is white and ruddy. Cant. v. 10. Thus 
indeed he was in his death, ruddy in his 
blood*shed, and white in his innoc«nce, and 

I 



^ao 



A COMMENTARY VPOS 



[cuAv, rr. 



.wttlial in Ififl nfeekneM and pati^nofe ; the 
«theT thtog wherein he is here so exemplaxy. 

Ver. 23. Who when he wot reviled^ 
reviled tu>t again.] This spotless Lamb of 
God was a Ijarob both in guiltlessness and 
sUence; and the prophet Isaish expresses 
the resemblance, in that he was brought as 
a lamb to the slaughter, liii. 7* He suffer- 
ed not only an unjust sentence of death, but 
•also unjust revilings, the eontradietions of 
sinners. None ever did so little deserve re» 
Tilings ; none ever could have sud so much in 
rhis own just defence, and to the just reproach 
.of his enemies ; and yet in bodi he prefer- 
red silence. None oould ever threaten so 
lieavy things as he oould against 'his ene- 
mies, and have made good all he threaten, 
•ed, and yet no such thing was heard from 
iiim. The heaven and earth, as it were, 
^poke their resentment of His death that 
fuade them : But He was silent ; or what 
^e spoke makes this still good, how &r he 
•was from revHings and threatenings As 
tspices pounded, or precious ointment poured 
4nit) give theiz smell most, thus his name 
teas an ointment then poured forth, Cant. 
jU 3, together with his blood, and filled 
heaven and eafth with his sweet perfume ; 
jwas a savour of rest and peace in both, ap- 
peasing the wrath of God, and so quieting 
ihe consciences of men. And even in this 
{wrticular was it then most fragiint, in that 
isll the torments of the cross and revilings of 
4he multitude, as it were, racked him for 
9ome answer, yet could draw no other from 
him but this, '< Father, fijrgive them, for 
they know not what they do," Luke zxUi. 
34. 

But for those to whom this mercy belong* 
ed not, ^e apostle tells us what he did ; in- 
stead of revilings and threatenings, he eom~ 
milled ail to him thai judgeth righteouslg. 
And this is the true method of Christian pa- 
tience, that which quiets the mind, and keeps 
it from the boiling tumultuous diougfats of 
revenge ; to turn 9ie whole matter into God^s 
handy^ to resign it over to him, to prosecute 
when and as he thinks good. Not as the 
(Doet, who had rather, if they had power, do 
for themselves, and be dieir own avengers ; 
^d because they have not power, do ofiSer up 
such bitter curses and pra3rer8 for revenge 
vnto God, as are most hateftil to him, and 
are iu from this calm and holy way of com- 
mitting matters to his judgment. The com- 
mon way of referring &ings to God, is in- 
deed impious and dishonourable to him, 
being really no other but a calling of him to 
be a servant, and executioner to our passion. 
We ordinarily mistake his justice, and judge 
of it according to our own precipitant dis- 
tempered minds. If wicked men be not 
crossed in their designs, and their wicked, 
oess evidently crushed, just when we would 
tere ity we arc ready to give up the matter 



as desperate, or at least to abate of diose con« 
fident and reverent thoughts of divine justice 
which we owe him. Howsoever things go^ 
this ought to be fixed in our hearts, that he 
that sits in heaven judgeth righteously, and 
executes that his righteous judgment in the 
fittest season. We poor worms, whose whole 
h£d is but an handJbreadth. in itself, and is 
as nothing unto God, think a few months or 
years a great matter ; but to Him that in- 
habits eternity, a thousand years ar^ but at 
one day, as our apostle teaches us, 2 Petw 
m. 8. 

Our Saviour, in that time of his humilis;i 
tion and suffering, committed himsdf and 
his cause (for that is best expressed, in that 
nodiing is expressed but he committed) to 
him that judgeth righteously, and the issue 
shall be, that aU his enemies shall become 
his footstool, and he himself shall judge 
them. But diat which is given us here to 
learn from his carriage toward them in his 
suffering, is, that quietness and modera- 
tion of mind, even under unjust suf- 
ferings, make us like him. Not to reply 
to reproach with reproach, as our custom is, 
to give an ill word for another, or two for 
one, to be sure not to be behind. Men take 
a pride in this, and think it ridiculous sim- 
plicity to suffer ; and this makes strifes and 
contention so much to abound. But it is a 
great mistake ; you think it greatness of 
spirit to bear nothing, to put up no wrongs 
whereas it is indeed great weakness and base- 
ness. It is true greateess of spirit to despise 
the most of those things which set you 
usually on fire one against another, espedally 
being done after a Christian manner. It 
were a part of Ae sj^t of Christ in you, and 
is there any spirit greater than that, think 
you ? Oh ! that there were less of the spirit 
of the dragon, and mot<s of the spirit of the 
dove, amongst us. 

II. Our obligement to fbUow the example 
of Christ, besides its own excellency,- is in- 
timated in these two things contained in the 
words: 1. The intendment of his behaviour 
for this use, (o be as an example to us. ^* 
Our interest in him, and in those his sufo* 
lugs, wherein he so carried himself. 

1. That his behaviour was intended for 
an example, lea^ng us an e^fample, ftc* 
He left his footsteps as a copy (as the word 
iwty^mftfim imparts) to be followed by us t 
Every step of his, is a letter of this copy, 
and particularly in this point of sufiering, he 
writ us a pure and perfbct copy of obe« 
dienoe in dear and great lettvs, in his own 
blood. 

His whole life is our rule : Not his mi- 
raculous works ; his footsteps walking on the 
sea, and such like, they are not for our fol- 
lowing : But his obedience, holiness, meek- 
ness and humility, are our copy, which we 
should conttBually study. Tl^ shorter and 



VEE, 24. J 



THK FIKST KPISTLE OF PETER. 



131 



more efioctiud way, theyiay, of teaehing, U 
by example : But abore all, this matchleaa 
example is the baj^iast way of teaching, He 
that follows AM, wys he, $haUfwt walk in 
darknest, John ?iii. 12. 

He that aims high, ihoota the higher for 
it, though he shoots not ao high aa he aims. 
This is that whioh ennobles the epiat of a 
Christian, the propounding of this our high 
pattern, the example of Jeans Christ. 

The imitation of men in worthless things 
is low and servile ; the imitalion of their vir» 
tues is commendable, but if we aim no 
higher, it is both imperfect and unsafis. The 
aposde St. Paul will have no imitation, but 
with regaid to this supreme pattern, Be ye 
followers of me^ ae I am qf Christ, I Cat. 
xi. 1. One Christian may take the example 
of Christ in many things in another, but still 
he ought to examine all by the original pri- 
raiiive copy, the ibotstope of Christ himself, 
fallowing nothing but as it conforms with 
that, and looking chiefly on him, both as the 
most perfect and the moat dTectual example, 
Heb. xii. 2. There is a cloud of witnesses 
and examples, but look above them all to 
llim, who is as high above them as the sun 
is above the clouds. As the way is better, 
a lively one indeed, so theve is this advan- 
tage in the covenant of grace, that we axe not 
left to our own skill for following of it, but 
taught by &e Spirit : In the diliveiy of 
the Uw, God shewed his glory and greatoeas 
by the manner of it ; but wliazeas the law 
was written only in dead tables, Christ, the 
Hving Uw, teaches by obeying it, how to 
obey it ; and this is the advantage ei die 
go^d, that the law is twiee written over 
unto believers, first In the «xample of Christ, 
and then inwardly in their hearts by his 
Spirit. There is, together with that copy 
of all gmce in Him, a Spirit derived fimn 
him, enabling bdievers to follow him in their 
measure. They may not only see him as 
" theonly.begottenSo9ofOod,foU of grace 
and truth," as it is, John i. 1 4, but as there 
it follows, ver. 16, they reoeiee ^ Uefui- 
ness ffracefor graee. The love of Christ 
makes the soul delight to cooverie ^th him ; 
and converse and love together, make it 
learn his behaviour \ as men that live much 
together, especially if they dft ihuch afiect 
one another, will ii^sensibly leontmct one 
another^s habits and custodu. 

The other thing obliging Us, is, 2itfy, 
Our interest in him, and his sufferings ; he 
sujjferedfor ve { and to this the apostle re- 
turns, vcr. 24. Observe only iiom the tie 
of these two, that if we neglect his example 
set before us, we csfinot enjoy any right as- 
surance of his suH^ng for us t but if we do 
seriously endeavour to foHow him, then we 
may expect to obtain life through his death, 
and those steps of his wherein we walk, will 
bring us ere long to b^ where h€ is* 



Tbb, 94. Who his own self hire our stas in hU bodV 
CO the treef that we, being dead to cia, BhouU liv* 
unto rlghteouioew ; by whoie itripa ye wero 
healed. 

Tbat which is deepest in the heart is 
generally most in the mouth; that which 
abounds within, runs over most by the tongue 
or pen. When moi light upon the speaking 
of that subject which possesses the affection, 
they can hardly be taken off, or drawn from 
it again. Thus the apostles in their writings, 
when they make mention any way of Christ 
sufiering for us, they love to dwdl on It, as 
that which they take most^ delight to speak 
of; such delicacy and sweetness is in it, to 
a spliritual taste, that they like to keep it in 
thdr niouth, and are never out of their theme, 
when they insist on Jesus Christ, though 
they have but named him by occasion of 
some other doctrine ; for He Is the g^eat 
subject of all they have to say. 

Thus here the apostle had spoke of Christ 
in the foregoing words, very fitly to this pre- 
sent subject, setting him before Christian 
servants, and all suffering Christians, as their 
complete example, both in point of much 
sufiering, and of perfect innocence and pa- 
tience in suffering. And he had expressed 
their engagement to study and follow that 
example ; yet be cannot leave it so, but hav- 
ing said that all those his sufferings wherein 
he was so exemplary, were for us, as a chief 
consideration, for which we should study to 
be like him, he returns to that again, and 
enlarges upon it in words partly the same^ 
partly very near those of that Evangelist 
among the Prophets, Isaiah, chap. liii. 4. 

And it suits very veil with his main soope 
to press this point, as giving both very much 
strength and sweetness to the exhortation; 
for suiely it ie meat reasonable, that we will- 
ingly conform to him in suffering who had 
never been an example of suflRning, nor sub. 
jact at all to suiforings, nor In any degree 
eapable of them, but for us ; and it is most 
comfortable, in these light sufferings of this 
present mwmenty to consider, that he had 
f^d us ftom the sufferings of eternity, by 
himadf suffering in our sthid in the fulness 
of time. 

That Jesus Christ is, in doing and suffer* 
ing, our supreme and matchless example, 
and that he came to be so, is a truth : But 
that he is notldiig fturther, and came for no 
other end, is, you see, a high point of false- 
hood ; for how should men be enabled to 
learn and follow that example of obedience, 
unless there were nunre in Christ ; and what 
would become of that great reckoning of dis- 
obedience that man stands g«iilty of ? No, 
these are too narrow ; he came to bear our 
sins in his own body on the tree, and for 
this purpose had a body fitted for him, and 
given him to bear this burden ; to do this 
as the will of his Father ; to stand for us in« 



132 



A COMM£NTAKV UPON 



[chap. n. 



stesd of all oflTeringa and socriiices ; and 
<'by that will (says the apostle,) we are 
sanctified thiougn the oftering of the body 
of Jesus Christ once for all," Heb. x. 9. 

This was his business, not only to rectify 
sinful man by his example, but to redeem 
him by his blood, He waa a teacher oome 
from God, As a Prophet he teaches us the 
way of life, and, as the best and greatest of 
Prophets, is perfectly like his doctrine ; and 
his actions, (that in all teachers is the live- 
liest part of doctrine,) his carriage in life and 
de&th, is our great pattern and instruction : 
But what is said of his forerunner is more 
eminently true of Christ; he 4s a Prophet 
and more than a Prophet^ a Priest sadafy- 
ing justice for us, and a King conquering 
sin and death for us ; an example indeed, but 
more than an example, our eacrifice and our 
life, and oil in all. It is our duty to walk 
as he walked, to make him the pattern of our 
steps, I John ii. 6 : But our comfort and 
salvation lieth in this, that he is the propi- 
tiation for our sins, ver. 2. So in the first 
chapter of that epistle, ver. 7» ''we are to 
walk in the light, as He is in the Ught :'* 
But for all our walking, we have need of that 
which follows, thai brars the great weight, 
the blood of Jetus Christ eleanseth us from 
all sin. And so still that glory which he pos- 
sesseth in his own person, is the pledge of 
ours ; he is there fat us; he lives to make 
intercession for us, says the apostle, Ueb. 
vii. 25, and J goto prepare a place for you, 
says he himself, John xiv. 8. 

We have in the words these two great 
points, and in the same order, as the words 
lie : 1. The nature and quality of the suf- 
ferings of Jesus Christ : And^ 2. The end 
of them* 

I. The nature and quality of the suffer- 
ings of Christ, He himee^f bare our sins in 
his oten body on the tree* In this expres- 
sion of his sufferings, we are to consider, 1. 
The commutation of the persons, He himself 
for us, 2. The work undertaken and per- 
formed, He bare our sins in his own body 
' on the tree, 

1. The act or sentence of the law against 
the breach of it standing in force, and divine 
justice expecting sstlsfiMtioD, death was the 
necessary and inseparable consequent of sin. 
If you say the supreme majesty of Qod, be- 
ing accountable to none, might have forgiven 
an without satisfiiction, we are not to contest 
that, nor foolishly to offer to sound the bot- 
tomless depth of his absolute prerogative. 
Christ implies in his prayer, Matt. xxvi. 39, 
that it was impossible that he could escape 
thtU cup : But the impossibility is resolved 
into his Father^% tr>//, as the cause of it. 
But this we may ckiirly see, following the 
tract of the holy scriptures, (our only safe 
i^ay,) that this way wherein our salvation 
is contrived, is most excellent, and suitable 



to the greatness and goodness of CkMl ; so 
fun of wonders of wisdom and love, that the 
angels, as our apostle tells us befiire, cannot 
foibear looking on it, and admiring it ; for 
aU their exact knowledge, yet they still find 
it infinitely beyond their knowledge, stlH in 
astonishment uid admiration of what they see, 
and stin in search, looking in tu see more ; 
those cherubim still having their eyes fixed 
on this mercy-seat. 

Justice might indeed have seised on re- 
beUious man, and laid the pronounced pu- 
nishment on him ; Mercy might have freely 
acquitted him, and pardoned an : But can 
we name any place where Mercy and Justice 
as relating to condemned man, could have 
met and shined jointly, in fuU aspect, save 
only in Jesus Christy in whom indeed 
<< Mercy and Truth met, and Righteousness 
and Peace kissed each other," PsaL Ixxxv. 
10, yea, in whose person the parties concern- 
ed, that were at so great a distance, met so 
near, as nearer cannot be ima^^ned ? 

And not only was this the only way, fat the 
consistence of these two, Justice and Mercy, 
but take each of them sevendly, and they 
could not have been in so ftdl lustre, as in 
this. God's just hatred of sin did, out of 
doubt, appear more in punishing his own 
only-begotten Son for it, than if the whole 
race of mankind had suffered for it etemaUy. 
Again, it raises the notion of Mercy to the 
highest, that sin Is not only forgiven us, but 
for this end CK>d*s own co-eternal Son is given 
to us, and for us. Consider what he is, snd 
what we are ; he the Son of his love, and 
we enemies : Therefore it is emphaticaOy 
expressed in the words, ^ He himself bare 
our sins. Ood so loved the world," John 
iii. 16. ; that love amounts to this much, ihat 
it was so great as to give his Son s Butiiow 
great that is, cannot be uttered. In this, 
says this apostle, Rom. v. 8, God eommend' 
eth his love to us, sets it off to the highest, 
gives us the richest and strongest evidence 
of it 

The foundation of this fiame, this appear- 
ing of Christ for us, and undergoing and an- 
swering an in our stead, lies in the decree of 
Qod, where it was plotted and contrived in 
the whole way of it from eternity t And the 
Father and the Son being one, and their 
thoughts and wiU one, they were perfectly 
agreed on it : and 4;hose likewise for whom 
it should hold, were agreed upon, and their 
names written down, according to which they 
are said to be given unto Christ to redeem^ 
And just according to that model did aU the 
work proceed, and was accomplished in aU 
points, perfectly answering to the pattern of 
it in the mind of Ood. As it was precim- 
eluded there, that the Son should undertake 
the business, this matchless piece of service 
for his Father, and that by his interposing, 
men should be reconciled and saved ; so that 



T^m. 24.] 



TUB FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



13S 



he might be altogether s fit pexMMi ihr the 
woik, it was lesdlved, that at he was akeady 
fit iar it by the Ahnightiness of bis Deity and 
Crodheady avd the acceptableness of his per- 
son to the Father, as the Son of God, so he 
should be further fitted by uniting, wonder- 
fully, weakness to Ahnightiness, the frailty 
of man to the power of Ood ; because that 
suffering for man was a main point of the 
work, so as his being the Son of Ood made 
him acceptable to God, his being the Son of 
Man made him suitable to man, in whose 
business he had engaged himself, and suit- 
able to the business itself to be perfonned. 
And not only was there in him, by his hu- 
man nature, a conformity with man, (for that 
migbt have been by a new created body,) 
but a consanguinity with man, by a body 
framed of the same piece, (a redeoner, a 
kinsman, as the Hebrew woid goel is,) only 
purified for his use, as was needful, and fram- 
ed af^ a peculiar manner in the womb of a 
Tirgin, as it is expressed, lieb. z. 6, Thou 
hati fitted a hody for me^ having no sin it- 
self, because ordained to have so mudi of our 
sins, as it is here, he bare them in hie own 
body ; which expresses, 

2. The work undertaken ; and this looks 
back to the primitive transaction and pur- 
pose, Lo, J come to do thy will, Psal. xl. 7) 
says the Son ; and, Behold my Servant whom 
I have chosen, Isa. xliii. 10, says the Fa- 
ther ; in this master-piece of my works none 
in heaven or earth is fit to serve me, but 
mine own Son. And as he came into the 
world according to that decree and will, so he 
goes out of it again in that way ; the Son of 
mangoeth, a$ ie determinedy Lukexxii. 22, 
it was wickedly and maliciously done by men 
against him, but determined (which is that 
he there speaks of) wisely and graciously by 
his Father, with his own consent. As in 
tliose twofaced pictures, look upon the cruci- 
fying of Christ one way, as complotted by 
a trncherouB disciple and malicious priests 
and rulers, and nothing more defoime^ and 
hateful than the authors of it ; but view it 
again as deteimined in God*s counsel, for 
the restoring of lost mankind, and so it is 
full of nnspodiable beauty and sweetness, in- 
finite wisdom and love in every track of It. 

Tliis refers also to the persons for whom 
lie engaged, as their coming unto him re- 
flects upon that first donation, and is repre* 
sented as flowing tnm that, << All that the 
Father hath given me shall come unto me,*' 
John vi. 37- 

Now, this being God*s great design, that 
he would have men eye and oonsldier more 
than all the rest of his wcoks, (though it is 
least of all considered by the most,) the other 
covenant made with the first Adam was but 
to make way, and if we may so speak, to 
make work for this : For he knew that it 
would not hold : theteforc.as this new covenant 



became needful by the breach of the other, 
so the failing of that other sets off and com- 
mends the firmness of this. The former wag 
with a man in his best condition, and yet he 
kept it not, even then he proved vanity, as it 
is, PsaL xxxix. 6, Verily, every man in hie 
beat estate is altogether vanity. So that 
the second, to be stronger, is made with a 
man indeed, to supply the former ; but he is 
God-man, to be sorer than the former, and 
therefore it holds. And this is the difference, 
as the apostle expresses it, that the first Adam 
in that first covenant, was laid as a fimnda- 
tion ; and though we say not, that the church 
in its true notion was built on him, yet the 
estate of the whole race of mankind, the ma- 
terials that the church is built of, lay on him 
for that time, and it failed. But upon this 
Rock, the second Adam, is the Church so 
firmly built, that the gates of hell cannot 
prevail against her. Matt. xvi. 18. The 
last Adam was made a quickening in life- 
giving Spirit, The first had life, but he 
transferred it not, yea, he kept it not fbr him- 
self, but drew in and transferred death ; but 
the second, by death, conveys life to all that 
are reckoned his seed : He bare their sins. 

He bare them on the tree. In that out- 
side of his suffering, the visible kind of death 
inflicted on him, that it was hanging on the 
tree of the cross, there was an analogy with 
the end and main work, which was ordered 
by the Lord, ¥nth regard unto that being a 
death dedared accursed by the law, as the 
apostle St. Paul observes, GaL iii. 13, and 
so declaring Him that was God blessed for 
ever to have been made a eurse, that is, ac- 
counted as accursed fiir us, that we might be 
blessed in him, in whom, according to the 
promise, all nations of the earth are blessed. 
But that wherein lay the strength and 
main stress of his sufferings, was this invisi- 
ble weight that none could see that gased on 
him ; but he felt more than all the rest. In 
this there are three things. 1 . The weight 
of sin. 2. The transferring of it upon 
Christ. 8. His bearing of it. 

I. He bare it as a heavy burden ; so the 
word of bearing in general, Mnyuif^ and 
those two words particularly used by the pro- 
phet, Isaiah M. 4, to which these allude, 
are die bearing of some great mass or load, 
and that sin is t For it hath the wrath of an 
offended God hanging at it, indissolubly tied 
to it ; of which, who can bear the least ? 
and therefbre the least sin, being the procu- 
ring cause of it, will press a man down for 
ever that he shall not be able to rise. Who 
can stand before ihee, when once thou art 
angry 9 says the Psalmist, Psal. Ixxvi. 7, 
and the Prophet, Jer. iii. 12, << Return, back- 
sliding Israel, and I will not cause my wrath 
to fidl upon thee ;** to fall as a great weight 
or as a millstone, and crush the souL 
But sensdessj we go light under the bur« 



i 



134 



A COMBIENTARY UPON 



[chap. n. 



den of tin, and feei t not ; we oompUUn not 
of it, and theiefore tmly said to be demd in 
Uf otherwise it could not but press us, and 
press out ^mplaints. *' O wretched man that 
I am ! who shall deUrer me ?" Romw tU. 
24. A profane secure sinner thinks it no- 
thing to break ^e holy law of God, to please 
his flesh or the wadd ; he aeeoonts sin a light 
matter, and makes a mock of it, as Solomon 
Bays, Prov. xiv. 9 ; but a stirring conscience 
is of another mind ; '* Mine iniquities are 
gone over my head, as a heavy burden they 
are too heavy for me,** Psal. xxxviii. 4. 

Sin is such a burden as makes the very 
frame of heaven and earth that is not guilty 
of it, yea, the whole creati<m, to crack and 
groan, (it is the apostle's doctrine, Rom. viii. 
4,) and yet the impenitent heart, whose guil- 
tiness it is, continues unmoved, and groaneth 
not.; for your accustomed groaning is no 
such matter. 

Yea, to consider in the present subject 
where we may best read what it is, it was a 
heavy kmd to Jesus Christ, see Psal. xl. 12, 
where the Psalmist, speaking in the person 
of Christ, complains heavily, JnnwnereibU 
eviU have compassed me t^out. Mine 
iniquiiiesy not his, as done by him, but yet 
his by his undertaking to pay for them, 
« they have taken hold of me, so that J 
am not able tp look up ; they are more than 
the hairs of my head, therefore my heart fiuU 
eth me.'* And sure, that which pressed him 
so sore who upholds heaven and earth, no 
other in heaven or in earth could have sua- 
tidned and surmounted, but would have sunk 
and perished under it. Was it, think you, 
the pain of that common outside of his death, 
though very painful, that drew such a word 
from him, My Gody my Gody why hast ih^u 
forsaken me 9 Or was it the fear of it be- 
fore-hand, tliat pressed a sweat <^f blood from 
him ? No, it was this burden of sin, the first 
of which was committed in the garden of 
£den, that then began to be laid upon him 
and fastened upon his shoulders in the garden 
of Oethsemane, ten thousand times heavier 
than the cross which he was caused to bear : 
Thai might be a while turned over to ano- 
ther, but this could not. This was the cup 
he trembled more at, than that gall and vine- 
gar after to be offered him by his cnicifiers, 
or any other part of his external sufferings. 
It was the bitter cup of wrath due to sin 
that his Father put Into his hand, and caused 
him to drink, tlie very same thing that is here 
called the hearing our sins in his hody% 

And consider that the very smallest sins 
went in to make up this load, and made it 
so much the heavier ; and therefore, though 
sins be comparatively less and greater, yet 
leam thence to account no sin in itself small 
that offends the great Ood, and lay heavy 
upon your great Redeemer in the day of his 
sufferings. 



At his apprehending, besides the soldiers, 
that invisible crowd of the sins he wss to 
suffer fbr came about him, for it was tlley 
that laid strong^ hold on him ; he could 
easily have shsken off all the rest, as appears. 
Matt zxvi. 33, but our sins laid the arrest 
on him, being accounted his, as it is in that 
forecited place, Psal. xl. 12, Mine iniqui- 
ties. Now, amongst these were even those 
sins we call small ; they were of the numb:r 
that tock him, and they were amongst those 
Instruments of his bloodshed. If the greater 
wers as the spear that pierced his aide, the 
less were as the nails that pierced his hands 
and his flket, and the very least as the thorns 
that were set on his precious head. And 
the multitude of them made up what was 
wanting in their magnitude; dough they 
were small, they were many. 

2. They were transferred upon him by 
virtue of that covenant we spoke of. They 
became his debt, and^ he responsible fbr all 
they came to. '< Seeing you hate accepted 
of this business according to my will, (may 
we conceive the Father saying to his Son,) 
you must go through with it ; you axe en- 
gaged in it, but it is no other than what you 
understood petfsctly before ; you knew what 
it would cost yott, and yet out of joint love 
with me to dose I named to be saved by 
you, you wen as willing as I to die whole 
undertaking. Now, therefbre, the time is 
come that I must lay npon you the sins of 
all those persons, and you must bear them ; 
the sins of all those believers that lived be- 
fore, and all duit are to come after to the 
end of the world.*' The Lord laid on kim 
the iniquity of us ali, says the prophet 
Isaiah, liii. 0, took it off firom us, and charg- 
ed it on him, made it to meet on him or to fall 
in toyethet, as the word is ; The sins of all, 
in all ages before and after, that were to be 
saved, all their guiltiness re-encountered, 
and met together on his back upon the cross ; 
and whosoever of all that nimibcr had least 
sin, yet had no small burden to cast on him : 
and to give accession to the whole weight, 
ewry man hath had his own toay of wander- 
in$y as the prophet there cxpresseth it, and 
he paid fbr all ; all f^ on him. And as in 
testimony of his meekness and patience, so 
in this regard likewise was he so silent in 
his sufferings, in regard that though his 
enemies dealt most unjustly with him, yet 
he stood as convicted befbre the justice-seat 
of his Father, under the imputed guilt of all 
our sins ; and so eyeing him, and account^ 
ing his bulinsss to be ohiefly with him, he 
did patiently bear the due punishment of all 
oiur sins at his Father's hand, and suited 
that of the Psalmist) / was as dumhy and 
opened not «^ mouthy beoause thou didet it, 
Psal. xxxix* 0. Therefore the prophet im- 
mcdiatdy subjoins that of his sUent car* 
riage, Isa. liii. 7> to that which he had 



TEB. 24.J 



THE FIBST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



I ah 



spoken of the oonflueace of our iniquities 
upon him. 

And if oux sins were thus accounted his, 
then in tKe same way, and for that veiy raa» 
son, of necessity, his suffezings and satisibc* 
tion must he accounted ours t As he said for 
his disciples to the men that came totake hhn, 
If Ubeiney€ awky then lei ihem ffofreej 
John xviiL 8 ; so he said ft» all believen to 
his Father^ his wrath then fninng on h'*", 
<< If on me you will lay hold, then let these 
ITO free.*' And thus the agreement vas, 2 
Cor. Y. «/<. ; " He was made sin lor us who 
knew no sin, that we might he made the 
righteousness of Qod in hi&.*' 

So then, there is an onion betwixt be. 
lierers and Jesus Christ, by which this in. 
terchange is made : He is ebarged with their 
sinsy and they an clothed with his sadalac 
tioo and rigbtaousness ; and that union is 
founded. Is/, In God*s decree of election 
running this way, that they should live in 
Christ, and so choosing the head and the 
whole mystical body aa one, and reckoning 
their debt at bis, in his puipoae, that he 
plight receive satisfitftion, and they saha* 
tion, in their head Christ. The execution 
of that purpose and union began in Christ's 
incarnation; being for lihem, thouffh the 
nature be note eonmum, he is sud "mot to 
take the nature of angds, but the seed of 
Abiaham," Heb. IL 16, the company of be- 
lievers ; he became man for their sakes, be- 
cause they are men. That he is of the same 
nature with unbelieving men that perish, is 
bat by accident, as it wexe ; there is no good 
in thon in that, bot the great evil of deeper 
condemnation, if liiey bear of him, and be- 
lieve not ; but iie was made man to be like, 
yea, to be one with the elect, tmd ke ie not 
mehamed to eall them brethren, as the 
apostle them says, Heb. ii. 11. 2<U|y, The 
union is also founded in the actual intention 
of the Son so nude man ; he piesentlng him. 
self to the Fadier in all he did and suffered, 
flw/or them^ having them, and lAMiofi^, in 
his eye and thoughts in all. For iheW eakee 
do I saneAfy myeelfy John xvii. 19. A- 
gain, %dly, The union is applied and per- 
fomied in them, when diey are oewvted 
and ingn^d into Jesus Christ by fidth ; 
and this doth actually discharge them of 
their own sins, and entitle diem to his ri|^- 
teausnesB, and so justl6es them in the sight 
of God. i/Mjfj The caosummation of this 
union is in glory, wbiA is the result and 
fruit «f an the fttlner. As it began in 
heaven, it is completed there ; but betwixt 
tliese tw« in heavm, the intetrentSon of those 
oriicir two degrees of it <m earth was neees- 
sary, being intended in the first as tending 
tb the attainment i^ the last. These four 
steps of it are all distinctly expressed in his 
own prayer, John xvii. Is/, Ood'« purpose 
(hat die Son should give eternal life to iioee 



that he hath given him, ver. 2. 2^/y, The 
Son's undertaking and accomplishing thHr 
redemption, in ver. 4, << I have finished the 
work which thou gavest me to do." ^ly. 
The application of this union, and its per^ 
finrmanoe in them, by their faith, their be* 
Uooing and keeping hie word, ver. 6, 8, and 
in several of the subsequent TeTses. And 
then, laetlyy We have the consummation of 
this union, ver. 24, ** I will that they whom 
thou hast given me be with me where I 
am." There meets the first donation and 
the last. 

Now, to obtain this life fiir them, he died 
tn their etead, appeared as the High>priesc, 
being peifiBctly and truly what the name was 
on dieir plate of gold, HoUneee to the Lard. 
Exod* xxviii. 36, and bo bearing their ini- 
quity, as it is added there of the priest, ver. 
38. But because that priest was not the 
Redeemer, bot an in^)erfeet figure of him, 
lie did not himself suiTer fbr the people's 
sin, but turned it over upon the beasts that 
he sacrificed ; signifying that translation of 
sin, by laying his hand upon the head of the 
beast; but Jesus Christ is both the great 
High-priest and the great sacrifice in one. 
And this seems to be here implied in these 
words, Himeelf bare our eint in hie own 
body t which the legal priest did not : So 
he made hie eoul an ofering for sin, Isa. 
liii. 10, and Heb. ix. 12. He offered up 
himself, his whote eelf In the history of 
Ae go^iel, it is said, his ewd was heary 
and chiefly suffered ; but the bearing in his 
body, and offering it, that is oftenest men^ 
tioned as die visible jnrtof the sacrifice, and 
in his way of offering it, not excluding the 
other. Thus, Rom. zii. 1, we are exhorted 
to give our bodies, in opposidon to the 
bodies of beasts, and diey are therefore 
ealled a Hving saeriflce, which they are not 
widiout the soul : Thus his bearing in his 
body imports the bearing it in his soul too. 

3. His bearing, that hints that he was 
acdve and willing in his suffering for us; 
not a constrained offering. He laid down 
his life, as he tells us, John x. 18, and this 
here, He bare, is, he took willingly off, lift- 
ed from us that burden to bear it himselfV 
It was counted an ill sign amongst the hea- 
thens, when the beasts went unwillingly to 
be sacrificed, and drew back; and a good- 
omen when diey went willingly : But never 
was sacrifice so willing as our great Sacri- 
fice ; and we may be assured he hath appeas- 
ed his Father's wrath, and wrought atone- 
ment for us. Isaac was in this his type ; 
we hear of no reluctance, but qniedy sub- 
mitted to be bound when he was to be 
oflered up. There be two words in Isaiah 
Hii. 4, the one bearing, the other taking 
away; this is also that taking away the 
sins of the loorld ilk St. John i. 29, which 
answers to luoth ; and so he to both die 



136 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[cuAp. ir. 



goats, the victim (the nn affering) and the 
acape goat. Lev. xTi. He did bett our lizu 
on his cross, and ftom thenoe to his grave, 
and there they are buried ; and they whose 
ains he did so bear, and take away, and 
buiy, shall hear no more of them as theirs to 
bear. Is he not then worthy to be viewed 
in that notion tliat John, in the fore-men- 
tioned text, took him and designed him by, 
" Behold the Lamb of God, that beareth 
and takes away the sins of the world." 

You, then, that are gasing on vanity, be 
persuaded to turn your eyes this way, and 
behold this lasting wonder, this Lord of life 
dying ! But the most, alas ! want a due 
eye for this object : It is the eye of fidth 
alone that looks aright on him, and is daily 
discovering new worlds of excellency and 
delight in this crudfied Saviour ; that can 
view him daily as hanging on the cross, 
without the childish gaudy help of a cruci- 
fix, and grow in the knowledge of that love 
thai paaseth knowledge, and rejoice itself in 
frequent thinking and speaking p( him, in- 
stead of these idle and vain thoughts, at the 
best, and empty discourses, wherein they 
most delight, and wear out the day. What 
is all knowledge but painted folly in compa- 
rison of this? Though thou hadst Solom 
mon*s faculty to discourse of all plants, and 
have not the right knowledge of this root </ 
Jesse : If thou wert singiUar in the know- 
ledge of the stars, and course of the heavens, 
and couldst walk through the spheres with a 
Jacobus ttaffy but ignorant of ihU star tf 
Jacob : If thou knewest the histories of all 
time, and the life and death of all the most 
ftmous princes, and could rehearse them all, 
but dost not spiritually know and apply to 
thyself the deadi of Jestu as thy life ; thou 
art still a wretched fool for them, and all thy 
knowledge' with thee shall quickly perish. 
On the other side, if thy capacity or breeding 
hath denied thee the knowledge of all these 
things wherein men glory so much ; yet do 
but learn Christ cruoifiedy and what wouldst 
thou have more? That shall make thee 
happy for ever ; for *' this is lifo eternal, to 
know thee the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ whom thou hast sent,*' John xvii. 3. 

Here St, Paul sets up his rest, / deter^ 
mined to know nothing but Jesus Christ 
and him crucified, 1 Cor. iL 2. << What- 
soever I knew besides, I resolved to be as if 
I knew nothing besides this, the only know- 
ledge wherein I will rejoice myself, and 
which I will labour to impart to others. I 
have tried and compared the rest, and find 
them all unworthy of their room beside this, 
and my whole soul too little for this, and 
have past this judgment and sentence on alL 
I have adjudged myself to deny all other 
knowledge, and confined myself within thii 
circle, and I am not straitened. No, there 
is room enough in it ; it is larger than hea- 



ven or earth ; Christ and him crucified, the 
most despised and ignominious part, yet the 
sweetest and most, comfortable part of all; 
the root, whence all our hopes of lifo and 
spiritual joys do spring.** 

But the most part of mankind hear this 
subject as a story ; some are a little moved 
with the present sound of it, but they draw 
it not home into their hearts, to make it theirs, 
and to find salvation in it, but still cleave to 
sin, and love sin better than Him that sufl. 
fcKdfor it. 

But you whose hearts the Lord hath deeply 
hnmbleld in the sense of idn, come to lliis 
depth of consolation and try it, that you may 
have experience of the sweetness and riches 
of it. Study this point thoroughly, and you 
will find it answer all, and quiet your con* 
sciences. Apply this bearing of sin by the 
Lord Jesus for you, for it is published and 
made known to you for this purpose. This 
is the genuine and true use of it, as of the 
brazen serpent, not emptily to gaie on the 
fobric of it, but to cure UiOee that looked on 
it. When all that can be said is said against 
you. It is true, may you say, but it is satis- 
fied for ; He on whom I rest, made it his, 
and did bear it for me. The person of Christ 
is of more worth than all men, yea, than all 
the creatures, and therefore his life waa afull 
ransom for the greatest offender. 

And for outward troubles and suflTeiings, 
which were the occasion of this doctrine in 
tliis place, they are all made exceeding li^t 
by the removal of this great pnssuie. ** Let 
the Lord lay on me what he will, seeing he 
hath taken off'my sin and laid that on His 
own Son in my stead. I may suffer many 
things, but he hath borne that for me which 
alone was able to make me miaetable.** 

And you that have this persuasion, how 
will your hearts be taken np with his love, 
'^ who thus loved you as to give himself for 
you I*' who intexpoeed himself to bear off 
from you the strdce of everiasting death; and 
encountered all the wiath due to us, and went 
through with that great work, by reason of 
his unspeakable love ! Let Him never go 
forth from my heart, who for my sake refused 
to go down from die cross. 

That tee, being dead to dn, should live 
unto righteousness.] The Lord doth no* 
thing in vain, hath not made the leaat of hia 
works to no purpose ; In wisdom hath he 
made them aU, says the Psalmist, PsaL dv. 
24, and that ia not only in regard of their 
excellent frame and order, but of their end^ 
which is a chief point of wisdom \ so then, 
to the ri^t knowledge of this great woik put 
into the hands of Jesus Christ, it ia of special 
concern to understand what ia ita end. 

Thia is the thing that hia wisdom and 
love aimed at in that great, undcrtakiog, and 
therefore it will be our truest wisdom, and 
the truest evidence of our rsAex love, to in* 



VCR. 24.] 



THE FIRST £PISTL£ OF PETER. 



197 



I 



tend the same thing ; that, in this, << the 
aame mind may he In us that was in Ghiist 
Jesus** in his suffering for us, and for this 
Tery end it is expressed, " That we, being 
dead to sin, should live to righteousness.'* 

In this, there are three things to be oon- 
ndered*: I. What this death or life is. 2. 
The intendment of it in the sufferings and 
death of Jesus Christ 3. The efibcting of 
it by them. 

!«/, What this death or life is. Now, 
whatsoever it is, sure it is no small change 
that bears the name of the great and last 
natural change that we are subject to; a 
death, and then another kind of life succeed- 
ing to it ; and in tliis the greatest part are 
nustakcn, that they take any light alteration 
in themselves for true conversion. 

A world of people are deluded with super- 
ficial moral changes in their life, some rec- 
tifying of their outward actions and course 
of life, and somewhat too in the temper and 
habit of their mind, fiur firom reaching the 
bottom of nature's wickedness, and laying 
ike CLxe to the root of the tree, it is such a 
work as men can make a shift with by them- 
selves ; but the renovation that the Spirit of 
God worketh is like himself, it is so deep 
and total a work, that It is justly called by 
the name of the most substantial works and 
productions, a new birth, and more than 
that, a new creation, and here a death and 
a kind of life following it. 

This decUh to Hn, supposes a ibimer /to- 
ing in it, and to it ; and while a man does 



ao, he is said indeed to be dead in ain ; and 
yet withal this is true, that he lives in sin, as 
the apo&tle joins the expressions, 1 Tim. v. 
6, She that lives in pleasure is dead while 
she liveth ; so £ph. iL 1, dead in trespasses 
and sins ; and he adds, wherein ye walked, 
which imports a life, such an one as it is, 
and more expressly, ver. 3, We had our 
conversation in the lusts of our flesh, "Sow, 
thus to live in sin is called to be dead in it, 
because in that condition man is indeed dead, 
in respect of that divine life of the soul, that 
happy being which it should have in union 
with Ood, for which it was made, and with, 
oat which it had better not be at alL For 
that life, as it is different from its natural 
being, and a kind of life above it, so it is 
contraiy to that corrupt being and life it hath 
in sin ; and therefore to Uve in sin is to be 
dead in it, being a deprivement of that di- 
vine b^g, that life of the soul in God, in 
compazisan whereof, not only the base life 
it hath in sin, but the very natural life it hath 
in the body, and that the body hath by it, 
is not wor^y of the name of life. You see 
the body, when the thread of its union with 
the soul is cut, becomes not only straight- 
way a motionless lump, but within a Utde 
time a putriiied noisome carcase ; and thus 
the zoii by sin is cut off fixvn God, who is 



its life, as is the soul c£ the body ; it hath 
not only no moving faculty in good, but be- 
comes full of rottenness and vileness, as the 
wqsrd is, Psal. xiv. 2, They are gone aside 
and become filthy* The soul, by turning 
away from God, tnma filthy ; yet, as a man 
thus spiritually dead lives naturally so, be- 
cause he acts, and spends that natural lifb^ 
in the ways of sin, he is said to Uve m sin^ 
Yea, there is somewhat more in that ezpres- 
sion than the mere passing of his life in that 
way ; for, instead of that happy life his sold 
should have in God, he pleases himself in 
the miserable life of sin, that which is his 
death, as if it were the proper life of his 
soul X Living in it imports that natural pro- 
pensity he hath to sin, and the continual de^ 
light he takes in it, as in his element, and 
living to it, as if that were the very end of 
his being. In that estate, neither his body 
nor his mind stiireth without sin. Setting ' 
aside his manifest breaches of the law, those 
actions that are evidently and totally sinful, 
his natural actions, his eating and drinking, 
his religious actions, his praying, and hear- 
ing, and preaching, an sin at the bottom^ 
And, generaHy, his heart is no other but 
fiirge of sin ; every imagination, evtrf fic- 
tion of things firamed there, is only evU oon^ 
tinstalfy. Gen. vi. 6, -or every day, and all 
the day long, it is his very trade and life. 

Now, in opposition to ^s life of sin, liv- 
ing in it, and to it, a Christian is said to die 
to ein, to be cut off or separated from it. In 
our miserable natural state, there is as dose 
an union betwixt us tod sin as betwixt ovr 
souls and bodies. It lives in us, and we in 
it ; and the longer we live in that condition 
the more the union growrs, and the harder k 
is to dissolve it; and it is as old as the^ 
union of soul and body ; nor can any thing 
but the death that is here spoke of part 
thems And this death, in this relative 
sense, is mutual, in the work of conversion ; 
sin dies, and the soul dies to sin, and these 
two are really one and the same. The Spirit 
of God kills both at one blow, sin in the soul, 
and the soul to sin ; as Uie apostle says of 
himself and the world, GaL vi. 14, each is 
crucified to the other. 

And ihen are in it chiefly these two things 
ihat make the difference : 1. The solidity ; 
and, 2. The universality of this change un- 
der this notion of death. 

Many things may lie in a man's way be- 
twixt him and the acting of diven sins, which 
possibly he affects most. Some restraints, 
outward or inward, may be upon him, the 
authority of others, or Uie tux of shame or 
punishment, or the check of an enUghtened 
oonsdenoe ; and though, by reason of these, 
he commit not the sin he would, yet he lives 
in it, because he loves it, becaose^e would 
commit it ; as we say, the soul lives not ao 
where it animates, as where it loves : And> 



138 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



[chap, ir.' 



^Qoerally, tfast kind of metapharieal life, by 
jrhich a man is said to tire in any thing, 
hath its pcincipal teat in the afiection. That 
is the immediate link of the miion in such a 
life; and the untying and death ooasists 
chiefly in the disengagement of the heart, 
hieaking off the affection from it ; ys tkat 
hue the Lordy hate evil^ PsaL zcvii. 10. 
An nnienewed mind mxjf have some tem- 
^fiVKcj dislikes, even in its bekyved sins, in 
cold blood, but it returns to like them within 
awhile. A man may not only have times 
«f oessation from his wonted way of sinning, 
^iit, by reason of the society wherein he is, 
and withdrawing oC occasions to sin, and di- 
.vers other causes, his very desire after it may 
•seem to him to be abated, and yet he may 
be not dead to sin, but only asleep to it : 
And therefore, when a temptation, backed 
with opportunity, and other inducing cixcum- 
stances, conies, and jogs him, he awidces, and 
arises and follows it. 

A man may, for a while, distaste some 
meat he loves, (possibly upon a snrfiot,) but 
he regains quickly his liking of tt c Every 
quarrel with sin, every fit of dislike to it, is 
not this hatred. Upon the livdy represent- 
ing the deformity of his sin to his mind, cer- 
tabdy a natural man may &11 out with it ; 
but these are but as the little jars of huaband 
and wife, that are fer from dissolving the 
jmarriage \ it is not a fixed hatred, audi as 
4unongst the Jews inferred a divoree; if 
thou hate her put her away ; and that is to 
die to it t As by a legal divorce the hus- 
band and wife are civUly dead cue to ano- 
ther, in regard of the tie and use of maniag 

Again, some men*8 educadon and custom 
and moral principles, may free them from the 
^irossest kind of sins ; yea, a man's temper 
may bo averse from them, but they are alive 
to Uieir own kind of sins, such as possibly 
are not so defoimed in the common aeoowit, 
covetousness or pride, or haidnfiss of heart, 
and either a hatred or disdain of the ways 
of holiness, that are too strict for them, and 
exceed their sise. Besides, for the good of 
human society, and for the interest of his 
own church and people^ Ood restrains many 
natural men from the height of wickedness, 
«nd gives them moral virtues. There be 
very many and very common sins, that mote 
jtefined natures, it may be, are scarce temptMl 
to; but as in their diet and apparel, and 
other things in their natural life, they have 
the same kind of being with other persons, 
though they are more neat and elegant ; so, 
in this living to sin, they live the uune life 
with other ungodly men, though wiUi a little 
more delicacy. 

They consider not that the devils are not 
in themsdves subject to, nor capable o^ many 
of those sins that are aoeounled grossest 
amongst men, and yet are greater rebels and 
enemies to God than men ace. 



Bat to be dead to sin goes deeper, and ex- 
tends further than aD these, namely, a most 
inward alienation of heart firom sin, and most 
universal fh>m all sin, an antipathy to the 
most beloved sin. Not only doth a man id 
this case forbear sin, but he hates it ; f hate 
vain tihoughls, PsaL cxix. 113; and no^ 
only doth he hate some sins, but aU ; / hate 
eeeryfatee wajr, veree 128. A stroke at the 
hearty a wound given there, occasions die 
most certain and speedy death : For, in this 
dying to sin, all the whole man of necessity 
dies to it ; the mind dies to die device and 
study of sin; that vein and intention be- 
comes dead ; the hand dies to the acting of 
it ; the esr to the delightful hearing of things 
profene and sinful ; the tongue of die world's 
dialect of oaths and rotten speaking, and 
calumny and evil speaking. This is the most 
common e&et of the tongue's life in sin, th? 
very natural heat of sin that exerts and vent» 
itself most diat way ; die eye becomes dead 
to that Intemperate look that Solomon speaks 
of when he cautions us against " eyeing the 
wine when It is red and wdl coloured in ths 
cup," Prov. xxiii. 31. It is not taken with 
lo^dng on the glittering skin of that serpent 
till it bite and etinff^ as there he adds. It 
becomes also dead to that unchaste look that 
kindles five in the heart, to which Job blind- 
folded and deadened his eyes, by an express 
compact and agreement with them ; "1 made 
a covenant with mine eyes," Job xxxi. I . - 

The eye of a godly man ia not fixed on 
the felae sparkling of the world's pomp, 
honour and wealth. It is dead to them, being 
quite daided with a greater beauty. The 
grass looks fine in die morning, when it is 
set with those liquid pearls, the drops of dew 
that shine upon it ; but if you can look but 
a little while on the body of the son, aiiu 
then look down again, the eye is as it were 
dead ; it sees not tliat feint shining on die 
earth that it diou^t so gay oefore : And as 
the eye is blinded, and dies to it, so, within 
a iew hours, that gidety quite vanquishes and 
dies itself. 

Men think it strange that the godly are 
not fond of dieir diet, that their appetite is 
not stilled with desire of their delights and 
dainties ; they know not that eadi as be 
Christians indeed, are dead to thoee things ; 
and the best dishes that are set befbre a dead 
man give him no stomach. The godly man's 
Utroat ia eutto those meats^ as ^omon ad« 
vises, in another subject, Prov. xxiiL 2. But 
why may not you be a little more sociable 
to follow die feshion of the world, and take 
a share with your neighbours, may some say, 
without so precisely and narrowly examine 
ing every diing ? It is true, says the Chris- 
tian, diat the time was when I advised as 
Utde with conscience as others, but sought 
myself and pleased myself as they do, and 
looked no further; but that was whc.4 / war 



24.1 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



134 



oHve in thdai wapi t but now truly / am 
dead to thsm ; and can you look for activity 
and eonvmation from a dead man ? the 
pleaiQfea of task, wherein I lived, are stiU the 
iame, but I am not the same^ Are you such 
a sneak ind a fbol, sayi the natural man, as 
to bear affronts, and swallow them, and say 
nothing ? Can you ndfinr to be abused so by 
such and sueh a wrong ? Indeed, says the 
Chiifltian again, I could once have resented 
an injitty as yon, or another, and had some- 
what of ^t you can high*heartedness, when 
I was alive after your Itehion ; but now that 
humour is not only sometimes cooled, but it 
is killed, In me. It is cdd dead, as ye say : 
and a greater Spirit, I think, than my own, 
hath taught mo another lesson, hath made 
me both deaf and dumb 4hat way, and hath 
given me a new vent, and another language, 
and another party to speak to on such occa- 
sions. See for this, PsaL xxviii. 12, 13, 14, 
16. << They that seek my hurt, speak mis- 
cfaievons things, and imagine deceits all the 
day long.** What doth he in this case ? 
^ But I aa a deaf man heard not, and I was 
as a dumb man that opened not his mouth ;" 
and why ? fiir <Mn ihee, O Lord, do I hope.** 
And for this deadness that you despise, I 
have learned it of Him that died forme, whOj 
whe% he tMM revUedy remhd not again. 

This is the true character of a Christian : 
he is dead toi^f But alas t where is thi« 
Christian to be found? And yet, thus is 
awy one that truly partakes of Christ ; he 
is dead to sin really. Hypocrites have an 
historical kind of death, like this, as play- 
en in tragedies. Those players have loose 
bags of blood that receive the wound : so the 
hypocrite, in some externals, and, it may be. 
In that which is as near him as any outward 
thing, his purse, he may suffer some blood- 
■shedofthat for Christ; but this death to 
sin is not a swooning fit, that one may recover 
«ttt of i^ain ; the apoerie, Rom. vi. 4, adds, 
fAo/ he is huried. 

But this is an unpleasant subject to talk 
thus of death said bturial ; the very name of 
death, in the softest sense it can have, makes 
•a sour melancholy discourse. It is so, indeed, 
if you take k alone, if there were not, instead 
of the lift that was lost, a fiur better one im- 
mediately followii^ ; but so It is here, tivinff 
unto fiphteeutneet, succeeds dpinp to sin. 

That which makes liktunl death so affiigfat. 
ful, the king of ierrors, as Job calls it, xviii. 
14, is mainly this foint belief and assurance 
of the resur rec t ion and glory to come ; and 
without some lively apprehensions of this, all 
msn's moittl resolutions and discourses are too 
weak cordials against this fear. They may 
•sc a good Ihee on it, and speak big, and w 
eover the fear they cannot cure ; but certainly 
tiisyaie » little ridicidous, that would per- 
•uade «itt to be content to die, by reasoning 
from th^ necessity and unavoidableness of 



it, which, taken slone, rather may beget a 
desperate discontent than a quiet compliance. 
The very weakness of that argument is, that 
it is too strong, durum teium. That of com- 
pany is ftntastic ; it may please the ima- 
gination, but satisfies not the judgment: 
Nor are the miseries of lift, ihough somewhat 
more proper, a foil persuasive to meet deadi 
without reluctance ; the oldest, the most de- 
crepit, and most diseased persons, yet natu'- 
rally fall not out with life, but could have a 
mind to It still ; and the very truth is this, 
the worst cottage any dwells in, they are loath 
to go out <rf tiU diey know of a better. And 
the reason why that which is so hideous 
to others was so sweet to martyrs, Heb. xl. 
35, and other godly men that have heartily 
embraced death, and welcomed it, though in 
very terrible shapes, was, because they had 
firm assurance of immortality beyond it. 
The ugly death's-head, when the light of 
glory shines through the holes of it, is come- 
ly and lovely. To look upon death as eter- 
nity's birth-day, is that which makes it not 
only tolerable, but amiable. Hie dies pot^ 
tremtu mtemi natalis est, is the word I ad- 
mire more than any other that ever dropt 
from a heathen. 

Thus, here, the strongest inducement to 
this death is the true notion and contempla- 
tion of this life, unto which it sets us over : 
it is most necessary to represent this, for a 
Tiatural man hath as great an aversion, every 
whit, ftom this figurative death, this dying 
to sin, as from natural death ; and there is 
the more necessity of persuading him to this 
because his consent is necessary to it. No 
man dies Ihis death to sin unwillingly, ol. 
though no man is naturally willing to it ; 
much of this death consists in a man's con. 
senting thus to die : and this is not only a 
lawful but a laudable, yea, a necessary self- 
murder. Mortify, therefore^ your members 
which are upon the earth, says the apostle, 
Col. iii. 5. Now, no sinner will be content 
to die to sin, if that were all ; but if it bt; 
passing to a more excellent Hfey then he 
gaineth ; and it were a folly not to seek t\\h 
death. It was a strange power of PlatoV 
Discourse of the Soul's Immortality, that 
moved a young man upon reading it, to throw 
himself into the sea, that he might leap 
through it to that immortality : But truly, 
were Uiis life of God, this life to righteous' 
ness, and the excellency and delist of if, 
known, it would gain many minds to this 
death, whereby we step into it 

1. There is a necessity of a new being to 
be the principle of new acting and motion, 
as the apostle says, while ye served sir^ ye 
teere free from righteousness, Rom. vi. 20. 
So it is equally true, while ye were alive to 
sin, ye were dead to righteousness ; but there 
is a new breath of life from heaven, breathed 
on the soul. Then lives the soul indeed^ 



J40 



A COMMENTARY UPON 



tCHAP. ir. 



wlienit U one with God, and wen Hffht in 
his Rghiy PsaL xxxvi. 9 ; it hath a Bpiiitual 
knowledge of him, and therefore sovereignly 
loves him, and delights in hid will ; and that 
is indeed to live unto righteotuneUy which, 
in a comprehensive sense, takes in all the 
frame of a Christian life, and all the duties 
of it towards God and towards men. 

By this new nature the very natural mo- 
tion of the soul, so taken, is ohedience to 
God, and walking in the paths of righteous- 
ness ; it can no more live in the habit and 
ways of sin, than a maa can live under water. 
Sin is not Uie Christianas element ; it is too 
gross for his renewed soul, as the water is 
for his body. He may faU into it, but he 
cannot breathe in it ; cannot take delight, 
and continue to live in it ; but his delight 
is in the lava qf the Lordy PsaL L 2. That 
is the walk tliat his soul refreshes itself in ; 
be loves it entirely, and loves it most, where 
it most crosses the remainders of corruptioD 
that are in him ; he bends the strength of 
his soul to please God, and aims wholly at 
that. It takes up his thoughts early and 
late ; he hath no other purpose in his being 
and> living, but only to honour his Lord, 
that is, to live to righteousness. He doth 
not make a bywork of it, a study for his spare 
hours ; no, it is his main business, his all. 
*' In this law doth he meditate day and 
night,'* Psal. i. 2. This life, like the na- 
tunl one, is seated in the heart, and from 
thence diffuses itself to the whole man ; he 
loves righteousness, and receiveth the truth 
(as the apostle speaks) in the love qf it. A 
natural man may do many things, that for 
their shell and outside are righteous : but he 
lives not to righteousness, because his heart 
is not possessad and ruled with the love of 
it : Whereas this life makes the godly man 
delight to walk uprightly and to speak of 
righteousness ; his huiguage and ways cany 
the rcsemlilance of his heart, PsaL xxzvii. 
30, 31. I know it is easiest to act that part 
of religion that is in the tongue; but the 
Christian ought not for that to be spiritually 
dumb. Because some birds are taught to 
speak, men do not for that give it over, and 
leave off* to speak. The mouth of the righ- 
teous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talk* 
eth qf judgment, and his feet strive to keep 
pace with his tongue^ which gives evidence 
of its unfeignedness. None of his steps 
shall slide, or he shall not stagger In his 
steps ; but that which is betwixt these is the 
common spring of both. The law of Ooa 
is in his heart, Psal. xxxvii. 30, 31 ; and 
from thence, as Solomon says, are the issues 
of his life, Prov. iv. 3. That law in his heart, 
is the principal of this living to righteous- 
ness. 

2. The second thing here is, the design 
or intention of Christ, by his sufferings and 
deaths to produce in us this death and life ; 



he bare sin, and died for it^ that we might 
die to it. 

Out of some conviction of the oonsequence 
of sin, many have a confused desire to be 
justified, to have sin pardcned, and they 
look no ftirther ; they think not on the im- 
portanoe and necessity of sanctifioation, the 
nature whereof is expressed by this djirin^ ie 
sin and living io righteousness. 

But here we see that sanctifioation is ne- 
cessary, as inseparably connected with jus- 
tification, not only as its companion, but as 
its end ; which in some kind raises it above 
the other ; we see that it was the thing which 
God eyed and intended, in taking away the 
guiltiness of sin, that we might be renewed 
and sanctified. If we compare them in point 
of time and look backward, holiness was 
always necessary unto happiness; but sa- 
tisfying for sin, and the pardon of it, was 
made necessaxy by sin : or if we look forward, 
the estate we are ajqpointed to, and for which 
we are delivcfed from wrath, is an estate of 
perfect holiness. When we reflect upon that 
great work of redemption, we see it aimed 
at there. Redeemed to he holy, Eph. v. 26, 
26 ; Tit. ii. 14. And if we go yet higher, 
to the very spring, the decree of election, 
with regard to that it is said, Eph. L 4, 
Chosen before, that we should be holy ; and 
the end, it shall suit the design ; Nothing 
^[uUl enter into the new Jerusalem that ie 
defiled Qt va^fiLy \ nothing but perfect purity 
is there ; not a spot of sinful pollution, not 
a wrinkle of the old man. For this end was 
that great work undertaken by the Son of 
GK)d, that he might frame out of polluted 
mankind a new hdy generation to his Father;, 
that might compass his throne in the life of 
glory, and give him pure praises, and behold 
his face in that eternity. Now, for this end 
it was needful, according to the all-vnse pur- 
pose of the Father, that the guiltiness of sin, 
and sentence of death, should be once re- 
moved, and thus the burden of that lay upon 
Christ's shoulders on ihr cross ; and that 
done, it is further necessary that soub so de- 
Uvered be likewise purged and renewed ; for 
they sre designed to pofection of holiness in 
the end, and it must begin here. 

Yet it is not possible to persuade men of 
this, that Christ had this in his eye and pur« 
pose when he was lifted up upon the croes» 
and looked upon the whole company of those 
his Father haid given him to save, that he 
would redeem them to be a numln^ of holy 
persons. We would be redeemed, (who is 
then would not ?) but he would have his re* 
deemed ones holy; and they that are not 
true to this his end, but cross and oppose 
him in it, may hear of redemption long, and 
often, but little to their comfort. Ak yoa 
resolved still to abuse and delude yoursdvsa f 
Well, whether you will believe it or no, this 
ii ODce more told you ; then U unspoakabli 



TBS. 84.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER. 



14i 



oomlbn in tfa« death of Chxitt, but it belongs 
only to ihote that oire dead to sin and alive 
to righieouaneu* Thia ciide ihuts oat the 
bnpenitent «orld : There it dosesy and can- 
not be hrckt through ; but all that aie peni- 
tent are, by their dSectual calling, lifted in- 
to it, tianilated Arom that accunod condition 
wherein they were : ao then if yon will live 
in your tint, you may ( but, then, retolve 
withal to bear them yourtdvea $ for Chritt, 
in hit bearing' of tin, meant ,the benefit of 
none, but tuch as, in due time, aie thut dead, 
and thut alive with him. 

3. But then, in the third place, Chritt^t 
tufiierings and death effect all thia. [1.] At 
the exemplazy caute, the lively contempla- 
tion of Christ crucified, is the moat power- 
ful of all thoughtt to tepaiate the heart and 
tin. But, [2.] betides thit working as a 
moral cause, Christ is the effective natural 
cause of this death and life ; fi>r he is one 
with the believer, and there is a real influence 



so much the better and fitter to testify love, 
therefore, it will have the aoul die with*Him 
that died for it, and the very same kind of 
death; / am crucified with Christ, saya 
the great apostle, Oal. ii. 20. The love of 
Christ in the soul takes the very nails that 
fastened him to the cross, and crucifies the 
soul to the world and to sin. Lave is strong 
as deathy particularly in this : the strongest 
and livdiest body, when death seizes it^ 
must yield, and so becomes motionlett, 
though it was so vigorous before : And the 
soul that is most active and unwearied in 
sin, when this love seises it, is killed to sin ; 
and as death separates a man firom his 
dearest ftiends, and society, this love breaks 
all its ties and friendship with sin. Gene- 
rally, as Plato hath it, love takes away one's 
living in themselves, and transfisrs it into 
the party loved ; but the divine love of Christ 
doth it in the truest and highest maimer. 
By whose stripes ye were healed.'\ The 



of his death and life into their souls. This misery of fellen man, and the mercy of his 



mysterious union of Christ and the believer, 
is that whereon both their justification and 
tanctification, and the whde frame of their 
talvation and happinett, depends ; and in 
this particular view the apostle still insists on 
it, speaking of Christ and believers as one 
in his death and resurrection, " crucified 
with him, dead with him, buried with him, 
and risen with him," Rom. vi. 4, &e. 

Being arisen, he applies his death to those 
he died for, and by it kills the life of sin in 
them, and so is avenged on it for its being 
the cause of his death, according to that H 
the Psalm, zli. 10, " Raise me up, that I 
may requite them.*' He infuses, and then 
actuates and stirs up that feith and love in 
them, by which they sve united to him ; and 
these wodk powerfully in producing this 
change. 

, [3.] Faith looks so atedfiutly on iu suf- 
fering Saviour, that, as they say,* it makes 
the soul like him, assimilates and confinms 
it to his death, as the jostle speaks. That 
which Papists febulously say of some of tlieiz 
saints, that they reoeivoi the impression of 
the wounds of Christ in their body, is true, 
in a spiritual sense, of the soul of every one 
that is indeed a saint and a believer. It 
takes the very print of his death, by behold- 
ing him, and dies to sin ; and then takes 
that of his rising again, and Hves to righ^ 
teousness, as it applies it to justify, so <o 
mortify, drawing virtue fitom IL Thus said 
one, '^ Christ aimed at this in all those suf- 
ferings, that, with so much love, he went 
through ; and shall I disappoint him, and 
not serve his end ?" 

[4.] That other powerful grace of love 
joins in this work with feith ; fer love de- 
sires nothing more than likeness and confer, 
mity : Though it be a painful resemblance, 
• IntcOectnt At ffliid quod lotelUgit. 



deliverance, are both of them such a depth, 
that no one expression, yea, no variety of 
expressi<Mis, added one to another, can reach 
th«r bottom. Here we have divers very 
significant ones : I. The guiltiness of sin, 
as an intolerable burden, pressing the ton! 
and sinking it; and that transferred ancF 
laid on a stronger back, he hare* Then, 
2. The same wretchedness, under the no« 
tion of a strange disease, by all other meant 
incurable, healed by his stripes. And, 9. 
Again represented by the forlorn condition 
of a sheep wandering, and our salvation to 
be found only in the love and witdom of our 
great Sheph^. And all these are borrowed 
feom that sweet and clear prophecy, laa. liil. 
The polluted nature of man is no other 
but a bundle of desperate diseases : He is 
spirituslly dead, as the Scriptures often teach. 
Now, this contradicts not, nov at aU lessons 
the matter; but only because this misery, 
justly called death, is in a subject animated 
with a natural life, therefbre, so considered, 
it may bear the name and senae of ticknets 
or wounds : And therefbre it is a gross mis- 
prison, and they are as much out in their ar- 
gument as in their condusioa, that would ex- 
tract out of diese expressiona any evidence of 
remains of spiritual life or good in our corrupt- 
ed nature. But they are not worthy the con- 
test, though vain hnds think to argue them- 
selves into life, and are aeeking that life by 
logic in miserable nature, that they thould 
teek by fittith in Jetus Chritt, namely, in 
these his stripes by which we are healed. 

It were a large task to name our spiritual 
maladies, how much more severaUy to unfold 
their natures ; such a multitude of corrupt 
false principles in the mind, that as gangrenes 
do tpnod themselves through the soul, and 
defile the whole man ; that total gross bUnd- 
ness and unbelief in spiritual things, and 



ust 



A COMMBNTARY UPON 



[CHAP. TI.' 



that stone of the hetrt, «*MdiieM and impeni- 
tencf , lettiargiea of semckianeiii and security ; 
and Uien, (for there be such compUcations of 
qdititual diseases in us, aa in naturals are al- 
together impossible) such burning feren of 
Inocdinate s^ections, deairet of lust, and ma- 
lice, and envy, such racking and tomenting 
cares of covetousness, Bod feeding on ear A 
mnd aihe$i as the prophet speaka in another 
case, Isa. xliv. 20, according to the deprayed 
appetite that accompanies some diseases ; 
such tumours of pride and self-conceit tluU 
break forth, as filthy blotches, in men^s words 
and carriage ope with another ! And, in a 
word, what a wonderful disorder must needs 
be in the natural soul, by the frequent inter- 
changes and fight of contrary passions within 
It 1 And, besides all these, how many deadly 
wounds do we receive from without, by the 
temptations of Satan and the world s We 
entertain them, and by weapons, with which 
they fumii»h us, we willingly wound our- 
selves, as the apostle says of them '' who will 
be ridi, they fall into divers snares and noi- 
some lusts, and pierce themselves through 
with many sorrows,** 1 Tim. vi. 9. 

Did we see it, no infirmary or hospital was 
ever so full of loathsome and miserable spec- 
tacles, as in a spiritual sense, our wretdied 
feature is in any (me of usapart : How much 
more when multitudes of us are met together ? 
But our evilfi are hid from us, and we perish 
ipoiserably in a dream of happiness. That 
makes up and completes our wretchedness, 
that we feel it not with our other diseases ; 
and this makes it worae still. This was the 
church's disease, Rev. ili. 17, " Thou say- 
est I am rich, and knowest not that thou art 
poor,*' &C. We are usually full of com- 
plainU of trifling griefr that are of small 
moment, and think not -on, nor feel, our 
dangeroufl maladies; as he who shewed a 
phyaidan hla Ibie finger, but the physician 
told him, he had more need to ^ink on the 
cure of a dangerous imposthume within him, 
whidi he perceived by looking to him, though 
himadf did not feel it. 
. In dangerous maladies or wounds, there be 
these evils, a tendency to death, a ftar of it, 
and apprehenaion of its teivars, and the pn- 
sent distemper of the body by theae ; and all 
this is in sin. 1. There is the piiltiness of 
sin binding over the soul to death, the most 
frightful, eternal death. 2. The terror of 
conscience In the a|^rehension of that death, 
or wrath, that is the eonseqoent and end d 
sin. 3. The raging and prevailing power 
of sin, which is the ill habit and Hi fft f«npfr 
of the soul t But Christ's stripes^ and that 
Uood that issued from them, are a aound 
oura I4)plied to the soul. They take away 
the guiltiness of sin, and death deserved, and 
free us from our engagement to those ever- 
lasting scourgings and laahes of the wrath of 
Qod ; and th^ are likeirisc the only cure ot 



those present temn and pangs o^ oonsdonos 
arising from the sense of &at wrath, and 
sentence of death upon the souL Our ini- 
quities, that met on his back, laid it open 
to the rod, which in itsdf waa free ; those 
handa that never wrought iniquity, and tliosa 
fret that never declined from the way of 
righteousness, yet for ourworics and wander- 
ings were pierced ; and that tongiy dropped 
with vinegar and gall on tlie cross, Uiat 
never spoke a guilefril nor a sinfrd word. The 
blood of those stripes are that balm issuing 
from that tree of life so pierced, that can only 
give ease to the conscience, and heal the 
wounds of it ; and they deliver from the power 
of sin, woiking by their influence a loathing 
of sin, that was the cause of them } they 
cleanse out the vidous humours of our corrupt 
nature, by opening that issue of repentanoe, 
'< They ahall look on him, and mourn over 
him, whom they have pleroed," Zech. xii. 10. 

Now, to the end it may thus cure, it must 
be applied ; it is the only redpe, but it must 
be received for healing. The most sovereign 
medidues cure not in another manner, and 
therefore still their first letter is R, Recipe, 
Take such a thing. 

This is amongst those wonders of thai 
great work, that the sovereign Lord of all, 
that binds and looses at his pleasure the !»• 
fluences of heaven, and the power and work, 
ings of all the creatures, would himself in 
our flesh be thus bound, the only Son bound 
as a alave, and scourged as a male&ctor t an^ 
his willing obedience made this an accepta- 
ble and expiating sacrifioe : amongst the rest 
of his sufiierings, He gate hie back to the 
emiiere^ Isa. L 6. 

Now, it cannot be, that any thus heal- 
ed, reflecting upon this cure, can again take 
any constant ddight in sin. It is impossible 
so far to forget both the grief it bred them- 
sdves, and dieir Lord, as to make a new a- 
greement with it, and take pleasure to live 
in it. 

Hie atripee'l Turn your thoughts eveiy 
one of you to oondder this. You that are 
not healed, that you may be healed ; and you 
that are, apply it still to perfect the cure, in 
that part wherdn it is gradual, and not com- 
plete ; and for the eaee you have (bund, Mess 
and love him who endured so much uneasi- 
ness to that end. There is a sweet niirture 
of soRow and joy in contemplating these 
stripes ; sonow, sure by sympathy, that they 
were his stripes, and joy that they were our 
healing. Christians are too little mindful 
and sensible of this, and it may be, somewhat 
guilty of that great fault mentioned, Hoe. xi. 
3, They knew not that I heated them. 

Tea. tS. For ye vwt m iheop gofnj^ MtraT. but urn 
now letunMd to Che Sbeiitenl and iiiifaop os 
your louli. 

* 

In these few words we have a brief mid yc* 






TUW FIRST EPISTLE OF FETER. 



143 



dear nfoWflotadoD of the wretebadiuss of hunting ▼anitj, followiog thit self-pleasing 
our naiural condUion^ and our happiness in design or the other, and seldom, and very 
Christ. The resemblanee is borrowed from 'slightly, if at all, eonyersant with Grod, and 
the same place in the prophet Isaiah, UiL 6. the things of heaven ? which, although they 
Not to press the oomparisony and, as it is alone have the truest and the highest plea- 



too usual in such oommentsas these, to strain 
it beyond the purpose in our lost estate ; this 
is all, or the main circumstance, wherein the 
resemblance with sheep holds, our wand&r- 
inffy as forlorn, and exposed to destruction, as 
a sheep that is strayed and wandered ham 
the fold. So it imports indeed the loss of a 
better condition, the loss of the safety and 
happiness of the soul, of that good which is 
proper to it, as the suitable good of the brute 
creatnre here named, is sa& and good pasture. 
That we may know there is none exempt 
in nature from the guiltiness and misery of 
this wandering, the prophet is express in the 
universality oiity all we have gone astray : 
And though the apostle here applies it in 
particular to his -brethrtn, yet it fells not 
amiss to any other, ye were at sheep going 
astray : Yea, the prophet there, to the col- 
lective universal, adds a distributive, every 
man to his own way^ or a man to his way. 
They agree in this, that they aU wander, 
though they differ in their several ways. 
There is an inbred propensioo to stray in 
them all, more than in ^eep that are crea- 
tures naturally wandering, for each man hath 
his own way of it. 

And this is our fbUy, that we flatter our- 
ikdves by comparison, and everyone is pleas- 
ed with himself because he is free from some 
wanderings of others < not oonaidering that 
he is a wanderer too, Uiough in another way ; 
he hath his wi^, as those he looks on have 
theirs. And as men agree in wandering, 
though they differ in their way, so those 
ways agree in this, that they lead into mi- 
soy, and shall end in that. Think you 
thoe is no way to hell but the way of open 
profaneness ? Yea, sure, many a wmy there 
is that seems smooth, and dean in a trumps 
own eyes, and yet will end in condemnation. 
Truth is but one, error endless and intemii- 
nable ; as we say of natural life and death, 
so may we say of spiritual, the way to life is 
one, but there- are. many out of it; lethi 
mills aditus. Each one hath not opportu- 
nity nor ability for every sin, or every de- 
pee of sin, but each sins after hisownmode 
and power, Isaiah xL 20. 

Thy tongue, it may be, wanders not in 
the common path-road of oaths and curses, 
yet it wanders in secret calumnies, in detrac- 
tion and defaming of others, though so con- 
veyed as it scarce appears: Or, if thou 
speak them not^ yet thou art pleased to hear 
them. It wanders, in trifling away the 
precious hours of irrecoverable time, vrith 
vain unprofitable babblings in thy converse ; 
or if thon art much alone, or in company 
Bwch nleat^ yet is not thy Awliab mind stiU 



sure in them, yet to thy carnal mind are 
tasteless and unsavotuy. There is scarce 
any thing so light and childish that tibou 
wih not more willingly and liberally bestow 
thy retired thoughts on, than upon those 
excellent incomparable delights. Oh !' the 
foolish heart of men, when it may seem deep 
and serious, how often is it at Domitian*s 
exercise in his study, catching /lies 9 

Men account little of the wandering of 
their hearts, and yet, truly, that is most of 
all to be considered ; for, from thence are 
the issues of life, Prov. iv. 23. It is the 
heart that hath forgotten God, and is roving 
after vanity. This causes all the errors of 
men's words and actions. A wandering heart 
makes wandering eyes, feet, and tongue. 
It is the leading wanderer, that mis- 
leads all the rest ; and as we are here called 
straying sheep, so vdthin the heart itself of 
each of us, there is, as it were, a whole 
wandering flock, a multitude, of fictions^ 
Oen. viii. 21, ungodly devices; the word 
that signifies the evil of the thought in He- 
brew here, rang from rung, is from that 
which is feeding of a flock, and it likewise 
signifies wandering ; and so these meet in 
our thoughts, they are a great flock and a 
wandering flock. This is the natural free, 
dom of our thoughts ; they are free to wan- 
der from God and heaven, and carry us to 
perdition : And we are guilty of many pol- 
lutions this way that we never acted. Men 
are less sensible of heart-wickedness, if it 
break not forth ; but it is far more active in 
sin than any of the senses, or the whole 
body. The motion of spirits is far swifter 
than of bodies ; it can make a greater pro- 
gress in any of these wanderings in one 
hour, than the body is able to overtake in 
many days. 

When the body is lied to attendance in 
the exercises wherein we are now employed, 
yet know you not ?' (It is so much the worse, 
if yon do not know, and feel it and bewail 
it.) Know you not, I say, that the heart 
can take its liberty, and leave you nothing 
but a carcase? This the unrenewed heart 
doth continually : << They come and sit be- 
foK me as my people, but their heart is after 
their covetousness,^' Eaekiel xxxiii. 31. It 
hath another way to go, another God to 
wait oh. 

But aw nofW returned,^ Whatsoever 
are the several ways of our straying, all our 
wandering is the aversion of the heart from 
God ; whence of necessity follows a conti- 
nual unsettledness and disquiet ; the mind is 
as a wave of the sea, tossed to and fro with 
the windi it tumbles from one sm and 



144 



A COMHENrARV UPON 



[chap, n* 



vanity to another, and finda no rest ; as a 
sick person tosses from one side to another, 
and from one part of his bed to another, and 
perhaps changes his bed, in hope of ease, 
but still it is farther off; thus '19 the soul in 
oU its wanderings : But shift and change as 
it will, no rest will it find until it come to 
this returning, Jer. ii. 36, << Why gaddest 
thou about so much to diange thy way ? 
thou shalt be ashamod of Egypt as thou wast 
of Assyria." Nothing but sorrow and shame 
tin you change all those ways for this one. 
Return, O Israel, et^t ike Lord ; if thou 
wilt return, return unto me. It is not 
ehanging one of your own ways for another 
that will profit you ; but in returning to me 
is your salvation. 

Seeing we find in our own experience, be- 
aides the woful end of our wanderings, the 
present perplexity and disquiet of them, why 
are we not persuaded to this to give up with 
them all ? Return unto thy retty O my 
eoul, says David, PsaL cxvi. 7 ; ^is were 
our wisdom. 

But is not that God, in whom we expect 
zest, incensed against us for our wandering ; 
and is he not, being offended, a eoneuming 
fire $ True, but this is the way to find ac- 
ceptance and peace, and satisfying comforts 
in retumhig. Come first to Uiis Shepherd 
of souls Jesus Christ, and by him come un- 
to the Father ; no man comet unto the Fa- 
ther, says he, but by me. This is via regia, 
the high and right way of returning unto Qod, 
John X. 11, I am. the good Shepherd, and 
Ter. 9, <' I am the Door, by me if any man 
enter in, he shall be saved :** But if he miss 
this door, he shall miss salvation too. " Ye 
are returned, (says the apostle,) unto the 
Shep